CVS Specialty, Elixir Among Pharmacies Distributing Cancer Drug Lenvima

Lenvima is approved to treat thyroid cancer, renal cell carcinoma and in combination with Keytruda for metastatic kidney cancer.

CVS Specialty Pharmacy, Humana, Elixir (owned by Rite Aid) and a handful of other specialty pharmacies will be distributing Eisai’s cancer drug Lenvima (lenvatinib).

FDA approved Lenvima for progressive, differentiated thyroid cancer in 2015 and to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma in 2016. In August 2021, FDA cleared the combination of Lenvima and Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for advanced or metastatic kidney cancer.

Elixir’s Elixir Specialty is one of 13 specialty pharmacies nationwide selected to distribute the medication, Elixir said in a news release.

Other pharmacies approved to distribute the mediation include: Acaria Health, Accredo, AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, Amber Specialty Pharmacy, Biologics, BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy, Humana, Kroger, Onco360, Optum, and US Bioservices, an Eisai spokesperson told FormularyWatch®.

Because of the complexity of specialty medications, they are often released as limited distribution drugs (LDD) to an exclusive network of pharmacies that can demonstrate the ability to provide the highest clinical standards, including understanding of the disease state, the ability to properly handle and store the medication, as well as provide patient monitoring, education, support and care, which is needed to optimize the treatment, Elixir said.

“Our clinical program proactively addresses and mitigates risk to avoid premature therapeutic discontinuation,” Jordan Maddocks, director of clinical services and outcomes for Elixir Specialty, said in a press release. “This allows members to continue with their treatment to get the most out of their therapy, improving their whole health.”

Elixir Specialty’s care model is designed to keep individuals on their therapy by managing controllable reasons for discontinuations. It includes programs for adherence, side effect management, missed doses and administration difficulties that are both proactive and reactive to assist the individual throughout their treatment journey.

Specially trained pharmacists, including Certified Specialty Pharmacists (CSPs), work with cancer patients before they take their first dose of Lenvima, “ensuring they know what to expect, coordinating the optimal time to start therapy given potential side effects and their readiness to begin treatment,” Elixir said.

Meanwhile, the pharmacy’s oncology care team provides comprehensive support, helping members manage side effects and overcome therapy hurdles to improve treatment outcomes and quality of life.

To ensure cost is not a barrier, Elixir Specialty links members to available financial assistance programs.

Elixir’s individualized care has resulted in an average oncology Proportion of Days Covered (PDC) rate of 92.8%, compared with an industry average of 86%. Similarly, the side effect discontinuation rate was 2.6% in 2021, compared with a benchmark of 6%, and a dose reduction rate of 4.3% versus the industry average of 14.5%.