Change coming to base pharmacy

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Scott Jackson
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs
Beginning Oct. 1, most beneficiaries will see a change in how the base clinic refills certain patient’s prescriptions, a change that will only affect certain brand name medications.

This change largely applies to non-active duty beneficiaries that will require refills on select maintenance drugs through home deliver, through Express Scripts or at military pharmacies.

Below is a brief frequently asked question list that will go over the change.

1. What are maintenance drugs?
Maintenance drugs are medications that exist for chronic conditions like blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Patients use these medications continuously without breaks in order to control these diseases. This change only affects brand name medications, not generics.

Examples of most common maintenance drugs: Crestor, Januva, Nexium and Advair Diskus. A link is provided at the end with the full list.

2. How does it affect base personnel and local veterans?
This will not affect active duty service members. It also does not apply to all drugs, only certain select maintenance drugs. Short term prescriptions such as antibiotics or acute pain medications can still be filled at a network pharmacy with Tricare coverage. If local veterans get a prescription for an affected maintenance medication, they can still fill it up to two times at a network pharmacy. After these two fills, they will need to switch to a home delivery or a military pharmacy. If they choose to continue to get their prescription at a network pharmacy they will pay the full cost.

3. How will base personnel be able to get prescriptions?
Base personnel will still be able to get prescriptions at the pharmacy on base. If a patient is taking a drug affected by this change, they should have received a letter from Express Scripts in the mail that explains what they need to do. You can find the list of medications affected at: or by calling Express Scripts Member Choice Center at 877-363-1303.

4. What is the reasoning behind this change?
The main reasoning behind this change is cost savings. On average, the Department of Defense spends $170 more per prescription when it is filled at a downtown network pharmacy rather than on base. We are in an era where cost cutting is extremely essential and this is one area that can have a nationwide impact.

5. Does this make it easier or harder for doctors to prescribe medication? What about Tricare?
As long as doctors are prescribing medications that are covered under formulary for Express Scripts or on base, this should not affect their ability to prescribe. It simply affects where patients will fill their maintenance medication prescriptions.

6. Anything more you’d think is essential for people to know?
Patients can find out more about these changes at