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December 8, 2017

Recent Stories

From Drug Benefit News - When CVS Health Corp. put an end to rumors and unveiled its $69 billion mega deal to acquire health insurance giant Aetna Inc. on Dec. 3, the retail pharmacy services behemoth touted itself as “a company at the forefront of changing the health care landscape.” By and large, industry experts assert that CVS Health’s self-description seems apt, citing its $21 billion acquisition of PBM Caremark Rx and its introduction of walk-in MinuteClinics in its retail stores (see chart, p. Read more

Two executives at a major managed care company based in San Juan,… Read more

GlaxoSmithKline’s Advair (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol) continues to dominate the market for… Read more

In its ongoing quest for more commercial business in Massachusetts’ highly competitive… 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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