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UnitedHealth excludes Lantus, Neupogen from 2017 drug list

14:27 EDT 22 Sep 2016 | BioCentury

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) will remove Lantus insulin glargine from Sanofi (Euronext:SAN; NYSE:SNY) and Neupogen filgrastim from Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) from its 2017 Prescription Drug List, substituting follow-on biologic Basaglar insulin glargine and biosimilar Zarxio filgrastim-sndz. The change will be effective on Jan. 1, 2017, for Neupogen, and on April 1, 2017, for Lantus.

The Sandoz unit of Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS; SIX:NOVN) markets Zarxio, and Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE:LLY) markets Basaglar.

In a webcast describing the changes, UnitedHealth said unchecked price increases for Lantus led it to seek alternatives for the diabetes treatment. In a statement, Sanofi said it was "disappointed" by the exclusion. The company expects to maintain its current global diabetes guidance of a 4-8% annual decline from 2015-18.

Last month, CVS Health Corp. (NYSE:CVS) said it will remove both Lantus and Neupogen from its standard formulary for 2017, along with 33 other drugs. The CVS formulary also substituted Basaglar and Zarxio (see BioCentury Extra, Aug. 2).

Additional exclusions from UnitedHealth include chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) drug Gleevec imatinib from Novartis and OxyContin oxycodone from Purdue Pharma L.P. (Stamford, Conn.). UnitedHealth will substitute a generic imatinib, and will cover Xtampza ER oxycodone extended-release from Collegium Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ:COLL) in place of OxyContin. CVS also will no longer cover Gleevec in 2017.

Original Article: UnitedHealth excludes Lantus, Neupogen from 2017 drug list

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