PBM policies prevent misuse of potential COVID-19 drugs | $2.2T coronavirus bill unanimously clears Senate | CVS/Aetna waives cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment
March 26, 2020
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Featured Story
CVS Health and Express Scripts are setting policies for access to hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, albuterol inhalers and a protease inhibitor to prevent hoarding of drugs that might be crucial in treating patients with COVID-19. Express Scripts spokeswoman Jennifer Luddy said the pharmacy benefit manager is also working with manufacturers to meet surging demand.
Full Story: Reuters (3/25) 
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Legislative & Regulatory News
The Senate has voted 96-0 to pass a $2.2 trillion stimulus package to aid industries, small businesses and workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The House is scheduled to act on the bill Friday.
Full Story: The Hill (3/25),  The Associated Press (3/26),  The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/27) 
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CVS Health's Aetna will waive cost-sharing for subscribers in employer-sponsored plans who are admitted to in-network facilities for COVID-19 treatment, and self-insured plans may choose to opt in or out of the coverage. CVS/Aetna is also covering COVID-19 care provided via telemedicine.
Full Story: CNN (3/25) 
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Drug Industry Spotlight
Following backlash, Gilead Sciences has asked the FDA to withdraw orphan drug status given to its COVID-19 drug candidate remdesivir, which would give the firm seven years' marketing exclusivity. Critics expressed worry that the designation would permit Gilead to set whatever price it wants for the drug.
Full Story: FiercePharma (3/25) 
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The FDA this week changed how it regulates insulin and other biologics, such as human growth hormone and chorionic gonadotropin, to treat them as biological products rather than drugs. The move means any insulin approved as a so-called "follow-on" is now considered a biosimilar and interchangeable with branded products, which could reduce costs.
Full Story: Medscape (free registration) (3/24) 
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PCMA is the national association representing America's pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which administer prescription drug plans for more than 270 million Americans with health coverage provided through Fortune 500 employers, health insurance plans, labor unions, and Medicare Part D. PCMA is dedicated to enhancing the proven tools and techniques pioneered by PBMs that generate savings and access for consumers and payors.

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