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November 24, 2017

Recent Stories

From Drug Benefit News - If Aetna, Inc. is negotiating its potential $66 billion-plus sale to CVS Health Corp. and hoping to finalize the deal as soon as December — as sources have confirmed to multiple media outlets since The Wall Street Journal broke the story in late October — some industry insiders are not surprised. Consolidation has been on the upswing for years in the health care industry and, separately, in the pharma industry, so a cross-industry deal such as a CVS/Aetna combination could make sense in the larger context of health care disruption and innovation, they tell AIS Health. Read more

In one of the first examples of a major PBM offering a… Read more

Stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) showed incremental gains in quality ratings… Read more

Amid a rapid reshuffling of industry giants, Anthem Inc., the nation’s second-largest… Read more

From the Editor

Welcome to your Drug Benefit News subscriber-only Web page

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Please e-mail me with comments on the last issue of Drug Benefit News, story ideas for future issues or any other suggestions you have that can make the newsletter more useful for you.

November 16, 2017
FDA Begins Implementing Naming Guidance

The FDA has started adding 4-letter suffixes to non-biosimilar biologics per its January final guidance: Mepsevii (vestronidase alfa-vjbk) and Hemlibra (emicizumab-kxwh)

September 28, 2017
Health Affairs urges PBMs to adopt stricter opioid edits on opt-out basis

In a recent blog posting, Health Affairs urged PBMs to start making opioid utilization management edits in accordance with CDC recommendations a standard feature in formulary management, so that plan sponsors must opt out if they do not want the feature in benefit plans, rather than requiring employers to opt in in order to get stricter opioid edits. View the post at

August 2, 2017
CMS Unveils 2018 Standard Control Formulary

CMS will remove 17 drugs across 10 classes from its Standard Control Formulary in 2018, will launch Transform Value program in oncology, obesity, respiratory areas

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