January 06, 2015
1 min read

Gilead's HCV treatments to be available exclusively through CVS Caremark

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Hepatitis C virus infection treatments Sovaldi and Harvoni will be exclusively available through CVS Caremark beginning on Wednesday, Jan. 7, according to a statement given to Healio.com/Hepatology from CVS Health.

“Effective January 7, 2015, Harvoni and Sovaldi – manufactured by Gilead Sciences Inc. – will be exclusive on the CVS Caremark Standard Commercial, Exchange (Marketplace), Medicare Part D and Medicaid formularies,” a spokesperson for CVS Health, told Healio.com/Hepatology in an email. 

The decision to exclusively sell sofosbuvir (Sovaldi, Gilead), and the combination of ledipasvir/sofosbuvir (Harvoni, Gilead), comes after a full evaluation of all current HCV therapies.

“CVS Caremark has completed a thorough evaluation of the existing and new hepatitis C therapies that are now available in the marketplace,” the spokesperson said. “When making this decision, we evaluated a wide variety of factors including duration of therapy, relative distribution of genotype and cost of the individual agents in the category as well as the results of a comprehensive clinical review of the different hepatitis C regimens.”

The spokesperson cited that the goal was to create “the lowest net-cost solution for the entire population of patients with all genotypes of hepatitis C.”

Express Scripts previously covered Harvoni, but discontinued covering it due to the high price of a full course of treatment of the drug and has since began covering Viekira Pak (AbbVie). Viekira Pak is a combination of ombitasvir, paritaprevir and ritonavir tablets with dasabuvir tablets for the treatment of HCV genotype 1 infection. The FDA approved the drug last month.

A class action lawsuit was recently filed on behalf of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) against Gilead Sciences regarding the sale and pricing of sofosbuvir. According to a previous press release, the lawsuit states the manufacturer of sofosbuvir has been selling the drug in the United States for an estimated $1,000 per pill, or $84,000 for a 12-week regimen, significantly higher than original price projections and prices in other countries.

Sovaldi was approved by the FDA in December 2013 and was the first drug approved for non-injection treatment of certain kinds of HCV. Harvoni was approved by the FDA last October and was the first combination pill approved to treat chronic HCV genotype 1 infection that does not require interferon or ribavirin for administration. – by Melinda Stevens