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The conversation reflected frustration and disbelief.

A woman had called SilverScript, which runs one of the largest Medicare prescription drug plans, to complain that she was unable to get a generic version of a brand-name asthma medication known as Advair. She couldn’t understand why a less-expensive generic was not on the list of covered medicines, because paying for it anyway would cost her about $100 more.


“Well, it sounds like SilverScript just doesn’t want to change, because it’s to their benefit and I’m not feeling that they’re thinking of the consumer and it’s hard for me to believe that the generic is pricier than the Advair,” the woman responded to the customer service representative after an appeal was denied, according to a transcript of the phone call. “It shouldn’t be that way.”

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