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CVS Stores and PBM to Discontinue Some Slow Moving and Expensive Drugs–Contracts Rule All Today

Posted Nov 19 2011 12:01am

If you read through here you can see some Eli Lilly insulin products on the lines and they are also looking at possibly knocking some more off what they will carry.  Gone are the days when you could count on a Pharmacy to have what you need at image any time.  They are also trying to steer business away from the drugs offering coupons.  They have their own of course but those from drug companies may end up pushing a higher priced brand name versus a generic offering.  There’s always something cooking today and those who are covered by Blue Cross will not be able to fill their prescriptions at Walgreens.

So we have to go chase and look around on the internet to see where some drugs can be found.  BD

CVS Caremark Corp.'s pharmacy-benefit business is recommending customers stop covering more than 30 drugs next year, including diabetes treatments and an erectile-dysfunction pill, to save money and combat drug-maker coupons that promote brand-name medicine over cheaper alternatives.

The Woonsocket, R.I., company's move highlights the friction over so-called "co-pay cards" from drug makers that can short-circuit incentives used by health plans to encourage less expensive medications. Health-industry consultants also said CVS Caremark is pushing aggressive changes on its clients in search of deals from drug makers.

The company recently issued a list with 34 treatments it said won't be covered starting Jan. 1. CVS Caremark's health-plan clients can adopt this list, which includes alternative treatments in each case, or opt for a customized drug plan that consultants said could mean clients get a smaller share of the rebates CVS Caremark secures.

The biggest drugs knocked off the list, with combined U.S. sales of about $1.7 billion, are Eli Lilly & Co . insulin products called Humulin and Humalog. CVS Caremark cited alternatives from Novo Nordisk .

Among its moves, CVS Caremark also recommended against coverage for certain allergy and asthma treatments, plus blood-pressure and pain drugs. It took two cholesterol-lowering drugs with light sales off the list while steering customers to AstraZeneca PLC's Crestor and Pfizer Inc.'s Lipitor, plus some generics.

CVS Caremark also recommended plans stop covering the erectile-dysfunction treatment Levitra, which is made by Bayer AG and sold in the U.S. by GlaxoSmithKline PLC, in favor of Pfizer's Viagra and Eli Lilly's Cialis.


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