Obesity Pill Qsymia to Be Covered by Express Scripts

by Christopher Freeburn | December 20, 2012 1:25 pm

prescription drugs 300x180 Obesity Pill Qsymia to Be Covered by Express Scripts[1]Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS[2]) announced on Thursday that Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX[3]) has added its new anti-obesity medication Qsymia as a standard benefit option to its pharmaceutical coverage[4].

Shares of Vivus climbed more than 2% on the news in Thursday afternoon trading, while Express Scripts shares rose fractionally.

The addition of Qsymia to Express Scripts coverage will cut the drug’s cost by about two-thirds for patients using the pharmacy benefits manager, Reuters noted.

Patients using Qsymia have paid an average of $160 through mail-order distributors. However, Express Scripts will offer it for a co-payment of between $50 and $60.

The drug’s high retail price has been an impediment to its greater use, Vivus noted. Up to 30% of patients who received a Qsymia prescription have opted not to fill it due to the price. Sales have been sluggish due to a lack of benefit coverage.

Endnotes:
  1. [Image]: http://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/prescription-drugs.jpg
  2. VVUS: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=VVUS
  3. ESRX: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=ESRX
  4. as a standard benefit option to its pharmaceutical coverage: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/20/us-vivus-obesitydrug-coverage-idUSBRE8BJ0KW20121220

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