To its list of drugs that are excluded from insurance coverage Express Scripts added a handful of different medicines, according to a report from Reuters.
Since 2014 the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager has been excluding medicines from its coverage list, the article notes, due to concerns regarding costs to its health insurers and corporate customers.
Treatments for arthritis and psoriasis, among several other medicines, were added to the 2017 excluded medicines list, containing 85 drugs compared with 87 in 2016.
Newly excluded items include Zyclara, a skin cream for actinic keratosis sold by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., a Canadian drugmaker criticized for high product prices, for more than $1,100 a tube, according to the article. Additional drugs include Bristol-Meyers Squibb Co.’s arthritis treatment Orencia, Eli Lilly and Co.’s new Taltz treatment for psoriasis and brands of gout drug colchicine sold by privately-held Prasco Laboratories and West Ward Pharmaceuticals Corp.
By keeping drugs from coverage, Express Scripts has been able to negotiate lower prices from drugmakers, saving customers approximately $1.8 billion in 2017, according to the pharmacy benefit manager, as noted by the Reuters article.