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PHARMACY

CVS Caremark unveils new PBM services pricing

BY David Salazar

As its integration with Aetna gets underway, CVS Health’s pharmacy benefit manager CVS Caremark is introducing a new pricing model aimed at offering better cost predictability. The Guaranteed Net Cost pricing model, CVS Caremark said, is meant to simplify financial arrangements that underlie PBM contracts and focus on such cost-management strategies as formulary, performance pharmacy networks and utilization management.

“We see a real opportunity to offer clients a simpler economic model that leverages proven PBM cost-management strategies to provide predictable drug costs,” said Derica Rice, CVS Caremark president. “As a result, CVS Health is introducing a straightforward, more holistic approach that enables plan sponsors to clearly see the net cost of their pharmacy benefit and select their PBM provider based on that criteria.”

The new model guarantees a client’s average spend per prescription — after rebates and discounts — across retail, mail-order and specialty channels. Additionally, under the model, CVS Caremark said it would pass 100% of rebates to plan sponsors and take responsibility for the impact of drug price inflation and changes in drug mix. The Guaranteed Net Cost model also will allow plan sponsors the option to implement point-of-sale rebates to offer plan members visibility into their medicines’ net cost.

“As a PBM, our job has always been to help our clients manage costs in the face of escalating drug prices without compromising clinical care, so they can continue to provide an affordable benefit to their members,” Rice said. “By simplifying the PBM economic model, we can focus on maximizing the impact of PBM strategies that help reduce costs for clients and consumers, and continue to develop additional innovative tools and approaches.”

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AbbVie, Pfizer ink agreement on Humira biosimilar

BY Sandra Levy

Pfizer has signed licensing agreements with AbbVie, resolving all global intellectual property matters for Pfizer’s proposed Humira (adalimumab) biosimilar.

Under the terms of the agreements, AbbVie grants Pfizer a nonexclusive patent license for the use and sale of Pfizer’s proposed adalimumab biosimilar for many countries around the world.

Pfizer may launch its adalimumab biosimilar upon approval by the European Medicines Agency in Europe. In the United States, the license period will begin on Nov. 20, 2023.

“This settlement will facilitate patient access to Pfizer’s proposed adalimumab biosimilar, which we expect to be an important addition to our broad portfolio of biosimilar medicines,” said Pfizer global president of inflammation and immunology Richard Blackburn.

All litigation pending between the parties will be withdrawn. The financial details of the agreements are confidential.

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Chains urge flu shots during National Influenza Vaccination Week

BY David Salazar

National Influenza Vaccination Week is Dec. 2 to 8, and big-name chains are encouraging patients to stop by and get protected against the flu. Both CVS Health and Rite Aid on Monday highlighted the availability of flu shots nationwide as part of the week of awareness, which began in 2005.

After a particularly strong flu season last year, CVS Health commissioned a Harris Poll survey that found 66% of respondents saying they get a flu vaccine every year or plan to get one this year — an increase of 5% over last year.

“Flu levels are typically at their highest between December and February, and while we are seeing an increased number of vaccinations this year, it’s important to remind those who have not yet gotten vaccinated that there is still time to do so,” said Papatya Tankut, CVS Health vice president of pharmacy affairs. “With the flu typically spreading to many communities this time of year and people gathering for the holidays, it is especially important for families to get vaccinated to ensure they remain healthy through the holiday season and into 2019.”

Rite Aid noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend flu shots for most healthy Americans age 6 months old or older, including pregnant women.

“When it comes to the flu, prevention is better than treatment, and our more than 6,000 Rite Aid certified immunizing pharmacists stand ready to help people protect themselves from the flu this year,” said Jocelyn Konrad, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy. “When you get a flu shot, you’re not only protecting yourself, you’re also helping to protect the others around you from getting the flu. We encourage everyone to take this opportunity to get vaccinated from the flu and help keep our communities flu-free this year.”

Rite Aid said it is offering a quadrivalent flu vaccine, a standard trivalent flu vaccine and FLUAD, a trivalent vaccine with an adjuvant meant for patients 65 years old and older. It noted they are covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare Part B, without an appointment during pharmacy hours.

CVS Health said the flu shot is available at its more than 9,800 CVS Pharmacy stores and 1,100 MinuteClinic locations, seven days a week, with no appointment needed.

 

 

 

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