Prime Therapeutics adds new hep C drugs to preferred list

Pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics, LLC recently agreed to place Gilead Sciences' Harvoni and AbbVie's Viekira Pak on its preferred drug list for hepatitis C patients.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Viekra Pak and Harvoni in late 2014. They are used to treat genotype 1, a form of hepatitis that makes up approximately 70 percent of all hepatitis C cases.

“First and foremost, our goal is to help people get the medicines that are most appropriate for their condition,” Prime Therapeutics' Chief Clinical Officer David Lassen said. “We also want to make these medicines more affordable for our members, their health plans and employers. These agreements with both manufacturers will allow more of our members to receive appropriate hepatitis C treatment at the lowest net ingredient cost.”

Research shows in the next three years, the cost of specialty medications is likely to surpass 50 percent of all U.S. drug expenditures; however, Prime Therapeutics' new agreement with Gilead and AbbVie will eventually lower the cost for hepatitis C drugs in 2015.

"Prime carefully evaluated all options, including an opportunity for an exclusive agreement with each company,”  Lassen said. “... Placing both Harvoni and Viekira on our formulary proved to be the lowest cost option for our clients and, importantly, prevents member disruption."

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