The Prescription Drug List:

Your tool for savings

If you’re like most people, odds are that either you or someone in your family is taking a prescription medication. While it’s always up to you and your doctor to decide which medications are right for you, understanding the Prescription Drug List, or PDL, can help you get the best value on prescriptions.

What is a PDL?

A PDL is a list of prescription medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The PDL groups these medications into categories called tiers. Each tier indicates the amount you pay when you fill a prescription. You’ll pay more for drugs in Tier 3 or Tier 4, but you’ll pay less for drugs in Tier 1 or Tier 2. Medications are assigned to tiers based on their cost and overall health value.

How can the PDL help me?

All of us want to take care of our health without spending any more than we need to. Understanding your PDL can help you choose high-value, low-cost medications that are right for your family.

Here’s an example of how switching to a medication in a lower tier can save you money, especially for medications you take on a regular basis.

Drug A is in Tier 3

Example Cost Share*: $50

Example Annual Cost: $600

Example Savings: $0


Drug B is in Tier 1

Example Cost Share*: $10

Example Annual Cost: $120

Example Savings: $40 per month/$480 per year**





How can I find out how much I will pay for my prescription?

Our member website,®, can quickly show your cost for any medication.

For more information you can visit or call the toll-free member phone number on the back of your health plan member ID card.

Ask your doctor

The next time your doctor gives you a prescription for a brand-name medication, ask if a generic equivalent or lower-tier alternative is available.

Find out more

Here’s an easy way to learn more about PDLs and your pharmacy benefit. Just follow the link to Health Care Lane. This is our interactive, online virtual community where friendly people answer your questions about your pharmacy benefit.

To find us, just click on the “Main Street” icon and look for the virtual pharmacy store, where a knowledgeable pharmacist gives you a quick tour of the pharmacy world.






* Member Cost varies by benefit plan.

** Savings estimates are based on a 30-day supply at a participating retail pharmacy and assume 12 months continuous use of the medication. Actual savings will vary and are dependent on copayment structure and do not take into consideration any deductibles or other expenses.


M50623 C1431-01 1/12 © 2012 United HealthCare Services, Inc.