Express Scripts Step Therapy

What Is Step Therapy?

Step Therapy is a program especially for people who take prescription drugs regularly to treat an ongoing medical condition, such as arthritis, asthma or high blood pressure. The program helps you get the prescription drugs you need, with safety, cost and – most importantly – your health in mind.

In Step Therapy, prescription drugs are grouped in categories, based on cost:

  • Front-line drugs – the first step – are lower cost drugs that are proven safe, effective and affordable. These medications should be tried first because they can provide the same health benefit as more expensive medications, at a lower cost.
  • Back-up drugs – Step 2 and Step 3 drugs – are brand-name drugs such as those you see advertised on TV. There are lower-cost brand drugs (Step 2) and higher-cost brand drugs (Step 3). Back-up drugs almost always cost more than lower cost alternatives.