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CVS Drops Viagra From Drug Insurance Benefit Coverage

Image: CVS Drops Viagra From Drug Insurance Benefit Coverage
Viagra won't be covered by CVS Health next year. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

By    |   Thursday, 06 Aug 2015 06:28 AM

CVS Health announced it's dropping Viagra, the popular erectile dysfunction drug, from its drug insurance benefit coverage next year.

Analysts told Bloomberg Business that Viagra, a product owned by Pfizer Inc., was estimated to make $1.7 billion in sales next year. The decision, though, removes the drug from the second largest manager of pharmaceutical benefits for U.S. insurers and employers.

The drug store chain didn't reveal why it was excluding Viagra starting Jan. 1, but Bloomberg said companies like CVS sometimes cut deals with drug companies to offer products exclusively in exchange for a lower price.

Patients using CVS will be able to get coverage for Viagra's competitor, Eli Lilly & Co.'s Cialis.

"Pfizer is committed to ensuring patient access to our medicines," said Steve Danehy, a Pfizer spokesman. "Viagra continues to be available to millions of patients in the marketplace, including many patients whose pharmacy benefit is managed by Caremark."

CVS's announcement said the company was dropping a total of 31 prescription medications from its insurance coverage, including drugs that treat diabetes and multiple sclerosis, reported Reuters.

Included in the cuts is weight loss treatment Qsymia, which last week was excluded from CVS rival PBM Express Scripts Holding's formulary list, too.

CVS announced this week that second quarter net revenues increased 7.4 percent to $37.2 billion over the year. The drug chain's operating profits increased 2.5 to $2.3 billion in the second quarter over last year as well.

"I'm very pleased to report second quarter results that exceeded our expectations," said CVS Health president and chief executive officer Larry Merlo. "On an underlying basis, we surpassed the high end of our guidance range by two cents, as operating profit in the retail business exceeded our expectations while operating profit in the PBM was in line with our guidance."

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CVS Health announced it's dropping Viagra, the popular erectile dysfunction drug, from its drug insurance benefit coverage next year.
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2015-28-06
Thursday, 06 Aug 2015 06:28 AM
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