In Industry Battle Over Hepatitis C Drugs, CVS Sticks With Sovaldi And Harvoni
CVS Health Corp., which is one of the primary drug benefit managers in the nation, says it will give preferred status to the two expensive drugs made by Gilead, rather than another new drug made by AbbVie.
The Wall Street Journal:
CVS Gives Preferred Status To Gilead’s Hepatitis C Drugs
The battle for supremacy in one of the fastest-growing pharmaceutical markets intensified on Monday, with CVS Health Corp. saying it will make Gilead Sciences Inc. ’s drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni the exclusive options for patients with hepatitis C. A competing treatment made by AbbVie Inc., called Viekira Pak, will be excluded from CVS’s drug formulary of approved medications, except in cases when it is medically necessary, CVS said in a letter sent to employment-benefit consultants that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. (Walker, 1/5)
CVS To Cover Gilead Hepatitis C Treatment Over AbbVie Regimen
CVS Health Corp, one of the largest U.S. managers of drug benefits, said it would give preferred status to the hepatitis C treatments from Gilead Sciences and cover a new competing treatment from AbbVie Inc only as an exception. The latest salvo in the battle to grab market share for new all-oral treatments for the liver-destroying hepatitis C virus follows a move last month by CVS rival Express Scripts Holding that favored AbbVie's regimen after negotiating a price discount below what Gilead had been charging its commercial customers. (Berkrot and Humer, 1/5)
Also in the news, a new drug moves closer to the U.S. market.
The Wall Street Journal's Pharmalot:
FDA Staff Recommends Novartis Biosimilar Version Of An Amgen Drug
The U.S. market may be a step closer to having the first biosimilar available for patients. In documents released today, FDA reviewers determined that there are “no clinically meaningful differences” between Neupogen, an Amgen medicine that is used to fend off infections during chemotherapy, and a biosimilar version that is being developed by Sandoz. ... Biosimilar drugs are cheaper versions of expensive and complex medicines made from biological matter and are among the biggest-selling medicines in the world. A number of biosimilars are available in Europe, where the products have been allowed since 2005. (Silverman, 1/5)