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HIV/AIDS drugs reclassified at Aetna, Coventry in Florida

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Aetna and Coventry Health Care of Florida are reclassifying certain HIV/AIDS medications labeled as specialty drugs to either generic or non-preferred brand drugs, according to Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin M. McCarty.

Aetna and Coventry Health Care of Florida are reclassifying certain HIV/AIDS medications labeled as specialty drugs to either generic or non-preferred brand drugs, according to Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin M. McCarty.

Related: New hep C drugs will strain the system: MD Anderson study

Effective June 1, 2015, individual health plan members of these two insurers will be able to purchase oral HIV drugs as generic or non-preferred brands, resulting in reduced costs and better access to these important medications. This coverage will also extend to individual health plan members in 2016 and will likely expand throughout the U.S., according to Aetna, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) said in a statement.

“I look forward to working with the other health insurance companies who have also committed to focusing their efforts on this important issue,” said McCarty in the statement.

Related:Drugs boost virologic response for Hepatitis C patients with HIV

Aetna and Coventry’s change from the specialty tier for the HIV/AIDS drugs will provide more choice for patients “in that they will have the option to visit a brick and mortar pharmacy or can choose to receive their medication through mail order,” said AHF’s Southern Bureau Director of Legislative Affairs David Poole. “We hope this decision will become a trend in the industry.”

Last year, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation became aware of allegations that several health insurance companies may have been violating Florida law by placing all HIV/AIDS medications in the highest tier of their drug formulary.

Read next: 5 ways to manage specialty drug expenses 

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