Express Scripts Stops Covering Key Big Pharma Drugs on Clinical, Cost-Effectiveness Grounds

A few weeks ago, Novo Nordisk ($NVO) said it had lost Express Scripts' business on two of its top drugs, Victoza and NovoLog. Well, that was just part of the action at the pharmacy benefits manager.

A few weeks ago, Novo Nordisk ($NVO) said it had lost Express Scripts' business on two of its top drugs, Victoza and NovoLog. Well, that was just part of the action at the pharmacy benefits manager. More than 40 other drugs, including some of Big Pharma's newest growth prospects, got the same treatment. And ironically, drugmakers may have their own marketing techniques to blame.

The PBM's National Preferred Formulary for 2014 includes a list of 44 treatments and supplies that won't be covered. Patients will be required to choose alternatives, which are helpfully listed alongside the newly excluded products. Among the excluded drugs are Pfizer's ($PFE) newly approved rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz, Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) recently launched psoriasis treatment Stelara, and GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) newly minted respiratory drug Breo Ellipta.

This is the first time that Express Scripts' ($ESRX) preferred formulary designates certain drugs as "not covered," spokesman David Whitrap said in an emailed statement.

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Source: FiercePharma