Another pharmacy benefits manager is drastically changing its coverage plan for 2017.
CVS will place 35 more products on its list of excluded drugs next year in an effort to feature cheaper alternatives to brand-name drugs and counter growing cost increases. The total will reach 131 drugs that won’t be available under the company’s plan.
Notable removals from this list include Sanofi’s diabetes drugs Lantus and Toujeo, Novartis’s leukemia drug Tasigna, and AstraZeneca’s prized cholesterol medication Crestor.
Lantus will be replaced by the biosimilar offering Basaglar from Eli Lilly while Novartis’s Zarxio will serve as an alternative for Amgen’s bone-marrow stimulant Neupogen.
The company changed its strategy of keeping up with price changes happening within the market, reported Bloomberg.
Previously, CVS had a team who reviewed prices once a year. The company had to change course, though, and started to check weekly for unexpected spikes by targeting drugs that had over 200 percent cumulative price increases within three years.
Biosimilar drugs are projected to save an estimated $110 billion for the U.S. healthcare system over the next four years.
Express Scripts, a rival of CVS, decided to excise 85 drugs from its formulary list for 2017 earlier this week for similar cost-saving reasons. The hope is that this decision will give the organization more negotiation power for drug pricing in terms of saving their customers money.