Express Scripts Makes Value-Based Decisions for its Formulary

The pharmacy benefit manager has decided to choose formulations that provide equivalent benefit at lower cost.

Express

Amgen Inc

Scripts Holding Co, the largest U.S. pharmacy benefit manager, on Friday said it will remove 25 products from its 2015 list of preferred drugs, including anemia treatments Epogen and Aranesp, both sold by .

Johnson & Johnson

The company will continue to include Procrit, a similar anemia drug sold by , on its list of preferred drugs, or formulary.

"The products we have chosen to exclude from our formulary are those that cost significantly more than other available options but that fail to provide additional health benefit," the company said in an emailed statement.

Express

Scripts, which like other pharmacy benefit managers administers prescription drug benefits for employers and health plans and runs large mail-order pharmacies, said that patients who fill a prescription for an excluded drug will pay the full retail price.

Epogen, and second-generation drug Aranesp, have been hugely profitable for Amgen, although their use has waned in recent years due to safety concerns, including increased risk of heart problems. Still, the two drugs generated U.S. sales of $2.7 billion last year.

Link to the report: http://reut.rs/1v1jdn0

Source: Reuters