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CVS Excludes Amgen’s Aimovig From Migraine Drug List

CVS Health Corp. has excluded Amgen Inc.’s drug Aimovig from its list of preferred treatments for migraine, according to a Reuters report earlier this week. The Federal Food and Drug Administration approved Aimovig in May. At the time, Thousand Oaks-based biotech Amgen called it “the first and only FDA-approved treatment specifically developed to prevent migraine by blocking the calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor.” CVS included Eli Lilly & Co.’s Emgality and Teva Pharmaceutical’s Ajovy on its list of preferred treatments. Drugs excluded from preferred lists are still available on a lower access level but there is usually higher out-of-pocket cost. All three choices have a list price of $575 per month, or $6,900 a year, not including rebates and discounts. Amgen’s Aimovig was first-to-market, with Teva and Lilly presenting similar treatments soon after. All three treatments were approved by the FDA in 2018 and belong to a class of drugs called CGRP inhibitors. Another top U.S. pharmacy benefit manager owned by UnitedHealth Group Inc. included Amgen’s Aimovig and Eli Lilly’s Emgality on its preferred list, but excluded Teva’s Ajovy, according to a Reuters report Friday. Shares of Amgen (AMGN) closed Friday down 4 cents, or a fraction of a percent, to $187.07 on the Nasdaq.

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