Speciality

MMIT Reality Check on Type 2 Diabetes (DPP4 and Combo) (Nov 2020)

November 27, 2020

According to our recent payer coverage analysis for type 2 Diabetes (DPP4 and Combo) treatments, combined with news from key healthcare influencers, market access is shifting in this drug landscape.

According to our recent payer coverage analysis for type 2 Diabetes (DPP4 and Combo) treatments, combined with news from key healthcare influencers, market access is shifting in this drug landscape.

To help make sense of this new research, MMIT’s team of experts analyzes the data and summarizes the key findings for you. The following are brief highlights. To read the full piece, including payer coverage, drug competition and prescriber trends, click here.

Payer Coverage: A review of market access for type 2 Diabetes (DPP4 and Combo) treatments shows that under the pharmacy benefit, almost 40% of the lives under commercial formularies are covered with utilization management restrictions.

Trends: In December 2019, Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. reported topline data from their Phase III SOTA-EMPA study for Zynquista (sotagliflozin) in type 2 diabetes, according to the company.

MMIT Reality Check on Multiple Myeloma (Nov 2020)

November 20, 2020

According to our recent payer coverage analysis for multiple myeloma treatments, combined with news from key healthcare influencers, market access is shifting in this drug landscape.

According to our recent payer coverage analysis for multiple myeloma treatments, combined with news from key healthcare influencers, market access is shifting in this drug landscape.

To help make sense of this new research, MMIT’s team of experts analyzes the data and summarizes the key findings for you. The following are brief highlights. To read the full piece, including payer coverage, drug competition and prescriber trends, click here.

Payer Coverage: A review of market access for multiple myeloma treatments shows that under the pharmacy benefit, about 51% of the lives under commercial formularies are covered with utilization management restrictions.

Trends: In August 2020, the FDA gave accelerated approval to GlaxoSmithKline’s Blenrep (belantamab mafodotin-blmf) for adults with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have received at least four prior therapies, including an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody, a proteasome inhibitor and an immunotherapy agent.

MMIT Reality Check on Cystic Fibrosis (Nov 2020)

November 13, 2020

According to our recent payer coverage analysis for cystic fibrosis treatments, combined with news from key healthcare influencers, market access is shifting in this drug landscape.

According to our recent payer coverage analysis for cystic fibrosis treatments, combined with news from key healthcare influencers, market access is shifting in this drug landscape.

To help make sense of this new research, MMIT’s team of experts analyzes the data and summarizes the key findings for you. The following are brief highlights. To read the full piece, including payer coverage, drug competition and prescriber trends, click here.

Payer Coverage: A review of market access for cystic fibrosis treatments shows that under the pharmacy benefit, almost 62% of the lives under commercial formularies are covered with utilization management restrictions.

Trends: In September 2020, the FDA expanded the label of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s Kalydeco (ivacaftor) for use in children ages 4 months to less than 6 months old with cystic fibrosis who have at least one mutation in their cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene that is responsive to Kalydeco based on clinical and/or in vitro assay data.

MMIT Reality Check on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (Nov 2020)

November 6, 2020

According to our recent payer coverage analysis for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) treatments, combined with news from key healthcare influencers, market access is shifting in this drug landscape.

According to our recent payer coverage analysis for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) treatments, combined with news from key healthcare influencers, market access is shifting in this drug landscape.

To help make sense of this new research, MMIT’s team of experts analyzes the data and summarizes the key findings for you. The following are brief highlights. To read the full piece, including payer coverage, drug competition and prescriber trends, click here.

Payer Coverage: A review of market access for CLL treatments shows that under the pharmacy benefit, almost 51% of the lives under commercial formularies are covered with utilization management restrictions.

Trends: In April 2020, the FDA expanded the label for Pharmacyclics LLC, an AbbVie Inc. company, and Janssen Biotech, Inc.’s Imbruvica (ibrutinib) in combination with rituximab for the treatment of adults newly diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic leukemia.

Trends That Matter for Major PBMs’ 2021 Formulary

November 5, 2020

CVS Health Corp.’s Caremark will exclude 57 medications from its 2021 formulary and add six back. Meanwhile, UnitedHealth Group’s OptumRx subsidiary will exclude 19 medications and products while adding back five and implementing restrictions on others, AIS Health reported.

Still, only a handful of products excluded by either PBM are likely to impact many members adversely, says Marc Guieb, a pharmacist and consultant with Milliman Inc. That also applies to the exclusions announced earlier by Cigna Corp.-owned PBM Express Scripts, he adds.

Guieb observes that brand-name albuterol inhalers are seeing exclusions in 2021 from multiple PBMs, and that’s the change that will affect the most members. “That’s a big one this year,” he says. “One of the PBMs’ new strategies is, they’re completely excluding all the brands of albuterol inhalers, and they’re just going with the generic.”

CVS Health Corp.’s Caremark will exclude 57 medications from its 2021 formulary and add six back. Meanwhile, UnitedHealth Group’s OptumRx subsidiary will exclude 19 medications and products while adding back five and implementing restrictions on others, AIS Health reported.

Still, only a handful of products excluded by either PBM are likely to impact many members adversely, says Marc Guieb, a pharmacist and consultant with Milliman Inc. That also applies to the exclusions announced earlier by Cigna Corp.-owned PBM Express Scripts, he adds.

Guieb observes that brand-name albuterol inhalers are seeing exclusions in 2021 from multiple PBMs, and that’s the change that will affect the most members. “That’s a big one this year,” he says. “One of the PBMs’ new strategies is, they’re completely excluding all the brands of albuterol inhalers, and they’re just going with the generic.”

Meanwhile, “the change that will actually cause the most widespread disruption and confusion will be diabetics switching to entirely new blood glucose monitoring systems, which is a hassle,” Guieb says.

PBMs that decide to prefer one specialty drug over another also can cause significant member disruption, Guieb adds, pointing to potential issues involving Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.’s biologic Cosentyx (secukinumab), which was excluded from Express Scripts’ 2021 formulary in favor of Eli Lilly and Co.’s Taltz (ixekizumab).

Overall, “I will say that for a lot of these annual formulary changes, they’re definitely a step in the right direction, although it may not be a big enough step in the right direction,” Guieb adds.

For 2021, OptumRx is changing up its multiple sclerosis coverage, adding Biogen’s Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) to its excluded list and preferring bioequivalent Bafiertam, made by Banner Life Sciences. Biogen’s Vumerity (diroximel fumarate) remains excluded.

Graphics below list medications that will be excluded by two or three major PBMs and their current market access among commercial formularies under the pharmacy benefit.

Radar On Market Access: FDA’s Approval of Sogroya May Change GH Class Management

November 5, 2020

When the FDA approved Novo Nordisk, Inc.’s Sogroya (somapacitan-beco) for the replacement of growth hormone in adults with growth hormone deficiency on Aug. 28, it became the only long-acting agent on the market, AIS Health reported.

There are seven short-acting growth hormones currently available to treat adults with growth hormone deficiency, all of them branded forms of somatropin. Differences among the products, all of which are self-administered, include the strengths available and the type of device to deliver the treatment. But all of them must be administered daily. Sogroya, which also is self-administered, is the only FDA-approved product with weekly dosing.

When the FDA approved Novo Nordisk, Inc.’s Sogroya (somapacitan-beco) for the replacement of growth hormone in adults with growth hormone deficiency on Aug. 28, it became the only long-acting agent on the market, AIS Health reported.

There are seven short-acting growth hormones currently available to treat adults with growth hormone deficiency, all of them branded forms of somatropin. Differences among the products, all of which are self-administered, include the strengths available and the type of device to deliver the treatment. But all of them must be administered daily. Sogroya, which also is self-administered, is the only FDA-approved product with weekly dosing.

Mesfin Tegenu, R.Ph., president of PerformRx, LLC, points out that Sogroya “is a human growth hormone (hGH) analog — an hGH with an added albumin-binding moiety. Up until this point, all hGH products have been a recombinant product, identical copies of hGH (rhGH). The half-life of somapacitan is measured in days (two to three days) while the half-life of rhGH (somatropin) is measured in hours (approximately two-and-a-half hours). The extended half-life of somapacitan allows less frequent (weekly) dosing.”

He says that payers typically have prior authorization on somatropin, with “controls including diagnostic and lab values as prerequisites.” A prescription from an endocrinologist is also a “common practice.”
“Somapacitan is likely to be managed similar to all the other rhGH class of drugs,” Tegenu says, adding that “it is reasonable to classify it as a second-line or nonpreferred agent whose use is allowed only after a trial and failure of or other medical reason for not using a preferred daily rhGH.”

For the Managed Care Biologics and Injectables Index: Q1 2020, Zitter Insights surveyed between Feb. 25 and April 1 51 commercial payers with 138.1 million covered lives, and respondents with 55% of the lives said they expect to cover at least one long-acting therapy at parity with a preferred short-acting one. Payers with 11% of the covered lives said they expected to prefer a long-acting agent over all other products.

Zitter also polled 25 endocrinologists about their anticipated reaction to the availability of a long-acting growth hormone. Three-fourths of them said they were somewhat likely and highly likely to prescribe it to patients new to therapy, and 68% said they were somewhat likely and highly likely to shift current patients to it.