CVS to Drop Coverage for Viagra

... along with 80 other medications that are no longer available in their prescription plan for 2016.

While CVS will still sell Viagra at its stores, those who get their prescription benefits from the company will have to find some other way to pay for the famous little blue pill. The company listed it along with 80 other medications that are no longer covered by their prescription plan in 2016.

The company states that there are cheaper alternatives to all of the medications they’re dropping coverage for, and seek to help the companies that pay for the benefits to keep costs under control.

From CNN Money:

“For those drugs that are removed, equally effective products with lower overall costs remain available,” CVS said in a statement. “Since introducing our industry-leading and rigorous approach … in 2012, we have delivered significant savings for our plan sponsors.”

Since 2012, the list of excluded drugs has ballooned from 34 to 124 in 2016. Similarly, CVS’s bigger prescription drug insurance rival Express-Scripts (ESRX) has banned 90 drugs from its coverage.

Companies that pay CVS for employees’ prescription drug benefits want to keep costs under control. By narrowing the list of approved drugs, CVS helps steer patients to the cheaper versions.

Here are all the drugs CVS is dropping from its coverage in 2016:

Abilify (antipsychotic)
Amitiza (irritable bowel disease)
Avonex (multiple sclerosis)
Bydureon (diabetes)
Carac (dermatology)
Cardizem, including Cardizem CD, Cardizem LA and its generic (high blood pressure)
Clobetasol spray (dermatology)
Clobex spray (dermatology)
Cymbalta (depression)
Diovan (high blood pressure)
Exforge, including Exforge HCT (high blood pressure)
Extavia (multiple sclerosis)
Fluorouracil cream 0.5% (dermatology)
Fortesta (testosterone replacement)
Fosrenol (kidney disease)
Incruse Ellipta (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Intuniv (ADHD)
Invokameet (diabetes)
Invokana (diabetes)
Matzim LA (high blood pressure)
Monovisc (monovisc)
Noritate (dermatology)
Plegridy (multiple sclerosis)
Qsymia (anti-obesity)
Relistor (gastrointestinal)
Valcyte (anti-infective)
Viagra (erectile dysfunction)
Zubsolv (opioid dependence)

That’s quite a jump in excluded drugs over a four year period.

This comes at at time when insurers are also raising premiums, despite what some believed the Affordable Care Act would provide.

In a Politico piece from earlier this year, the discussion of rising health insurance premiums point out that part of the drastic increases stem from a better understanding of what actual costs would be. Prior to the ACA going into effect, insurers were essentially guessing at what the risk pool would look like and whether people who were now going to buy health insurance would actually use it.

It is possible that CVS is cutting medications from its coverage as a way to avoid raising rates as high as some other insurance providers have done.

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2 comments

  1. john Reply

    This is the third story in a row now that has me shaking my head wondering “what am I to take from this?”

    Fortunately, our insurance stopped covering CVS so we don’t use them any more. Good riddance. Their customer service was terrible and their ability to explain themselves to us was perplexing at best. Thank goodness there was a Walgreens nearby that doesn’t seem to suffer the problems of service delivery that CVS did.

    That’s the page we’re on.

    1. Profile photo of Kimadmin

      Kimadmin Reply

      We’re not here to tell you what to think. Have a brilliant day.

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