Express Scripts Adds Hepatitis C Drug Harvoni to 2017 National Formulary

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) drug Harvoni will become available under Express Scripts’ Hepatitis Cure Value Program, starting January 1, 2017.

The program fulfills scripts through the pharmacy benefits manager’s (PBMs) in-house specialty pharmacy, Accredo, reported Fierce Pharma.  

After AbbVie launched its competing drug Viekira Pak, Express Scripts cut an exclusive deal with the drug manufacturer, subsequently excluding Gilead’s Sovaldi and Harvoni from the PBM’s 2015 and 2016 formulary list.

Now, Viekira Pak will share its formulary spot with Harvoni, which will provide 25 million patients with access to Gilead’s drug.

In a statement, Express Scripts said that the inclusion of Harvoni will expand treatment options for patients and their physicians, while continuing to lower the cost of treatment by nearly 50%, according to Fierce Pharma.

Tensions between the companies began after the FDA approved Gilead’s breakthrough HCV treatment, Sovaldi. The drug was set at a list price of $84,000 and was heavily criticized by Express Scripts.

At the time, Steve Miller, chief medical officer of Express Scripts told Bloomberg, “What they (Gilead) have done with this particular drug will break the country. It will make pharmacy benefits no longer sustainable. Companies just aren’t going to be able to handle paying for this drug.”

However the 2 companies have now reached an accord to include the drug on the formulary list, according to Fierce Pharma.
 
 

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A recent study demonstrates the clinical benefit from the use of direct-acting antivirals for hepatitis C virus in patients with a history of liver cancer.
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