CVS Caremark Removes 5 Brands from Drug List

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The branded therapies were removed in favor of generics effective April 2023. CVS Caremark also added 13 generics to its Performance Drug List.

CVS Caremark has removed five branded therapies in favor of generics from its Performance Drug List – Standard Control effective April 2023. CVS has also added 13 generics to the list.

Among the removed brands are two for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. In 2020, 12.5 million people, or 5.0% of adults, reported a diagnosis of COPD, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema. It is the fifth disease-related cause of death, behind heart disease, cancer, COVID-19, accidents, and stroke, according to the American Lung Association.

AstraZeneca’s Daliresp (roflumilast) is a tablet indicated to reduce the risk of exacerbations in patients with COPD. It is phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) enzyme inhibitor, which has both bronchodilator and anti‐inflammatory effects. CVS Caremark has added the generic to its list. Several generics for a 500 mcg dose are available including at least two that were approved in 2022: Zydus Pharmaceuticals (February 2022), and Camber (October 2022).

Viatris’ Perforomist (formoterol) inhalation is a long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA) used to control the symptoms of COPD in adults. While CVS does not provide an alternative to Perforomist, the generic formoterol has been added to the PBM’s list. Teva launched the first generic in June 2021.

Other branded products removed include AbbVie’s Combigan (brimonidine tartrate/timolol maleate ophthalmic solution) 0.2%/0.5% to treat intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Combigan ower the pressure in the eye by decreasing the fluid produced and helping the flow of fluid out of the eye chamber. CVS has added the generic version to its list. Three generics were launched in 2022, including Apotex Corp. with an authorized generic version (January 2022), Sandoz (April 2022) and Teva (October 2022).

Amneal’s Zomig (zolmitriptan) nasal spray used to treat migraine. Several generics are available. Finally, CVS has removed Celltrion’s Temixys (lamivudine and tenofovir) to treat HIV in adults has been discontinued by the manufacturer. CVS includes another combination lamivudine/tenofovir tablet: Viatris’ Cimduo.

The generics that have been added to CVS’s list include:

  • Amlodipine-valsartan, which is used to lower high blood pressure
  • Betaine, which is used to reduce homocysteine levels in people with a genetic condition called homocystinuria, in which the amino acid builds up in the body
  • Brimonidine-timolol, which is used to treat intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension
  • Carglumic, which is used to treat too much ammonia in the blood caused by a lack of a liver enzyme
  • Dapsone, which is an antibiotic used to treat leprosy and to control herpetiformis, a skin condition common in people with celiac disease
  • Fesoterodine extended release, which is used to treat overactive bladder
  • Formoterol inhalation solution, which is used to control the symptoms of COPD in adults
  • Maraviroc, an antiretroviral used to treat HIV
  • Midodrine, which is used to treat high blood pressure
  • Roflumilast, which is used to reduce the risk of exacerbations in patients with COPD

In addition to the above, a CVS spokesperson said three additional generics have been included that are not on the Performance Control List. This include:

  • Bexarotene, which is used to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
  • Chlorthalidone, a diuretic to help lower blood pressure
  • Ethacrynic acid, a diuretic used in to treat edema in heart failure

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