Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
Cigna and Express Scripts announced a program to help improve the affordability of insulin copayments in commercial plans for patients with diabetes, The American Journal of Managed Care reported. According to the article, the program will cap insulin copays, which on average cost $41.50 for 30-day supply, at $25. Jennifer l. Luddy, an Express Scripts spokeswoman, told The American Journal of Managed Care that the company plans to have all forms of insulin available, although a full list of products has not yet been disclosed, the article reported.
A 6-month study demonstrated that Alkermes long-acting injectable therapy (LAT) aripiprazole lauroxil (Aristada) is an effective option for patients with schizophrenia, Reuters reported. According to the article, the study showed that aripiprazole lauroxil is just as effective as Johnson & Johnson’s monthly injectable paliperidone palmitate (Invega Sustenna) in helping to achieve statistically significant improvement in schizophrenia symptoms. The most common adverse effect observed with LATs during the trial were pain from needles, increase in weight, and restlessness, the article reported.
On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing for executives from pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), including CVS Caremark and Cigna’s Express Scripts, NPR reported. According to the article, the hearing comes 6 weeks after leaders of 7 pharmaceutical manufacturers appeared before the same committee to defend their pricing practices. Critics of the rebate system have suggested that PBMs withhold savings for themselves, whereas others argue that PBMs help keep drug costs down, the article reported.