Neither Express Scripts Nor Cigna Will Pay for EpiPen Competitor Auvi-Q - (TheStreet via NewsPoints Desk)

  • According to Ellen Drazen, spokeswoman for Express Scripts, the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) has not involved itself in any partnership with Kaleo for its emergency allergy treatment Auvi-Q, reported TheStreet.

  • Kaleo said last week that it would be re-introducing its auto-injector on the US market in February under a pricing scheme that will make the product free for insured patients, as well as for uninsured patients with a household income of less than $100 000, and cost $360 for other uninsured patients, but will cost $4500 for insurance companies and PBMs.

  • "Regarding Auvi-Q, we believe this is another egregious pricing scheme that will attempt to gouge payers and damage our healthcare system," Drazen said. 

  • Karen Eldred, spokeswoman for Cigna, remarked that "the price for Auvi-Q far exceeds that of epinephrine alternatives with the same expected medical results. Therefore, we have no plans to add Auvi-Q to our covered drug lists."

  • Cigna will cover the generic version of Adrenaclick, as well as the generic version of Mylan's EpiPen, which was introduced in December for $300 for a two-pack. 

  • Meanwhile, although UnitedHealth Group did not respond to immediate request for comment, a source said that Optum, the healthcare company's PBM, would not pay for Auvi-Q. CVS Caremark could not be reached for immediate comment, the news source said.

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