Express Scripts Adds Biosimilar Semglee to Preferred Formulary

Express Scripts will put the first interchangeable biosimilar insulin on its National Preferred Formulary and exclude Lantus, the reference product.

Express Scripts will add Viatris’ Semglee (insulin glargine-yfgn) injection as a preferred therapy on its formulary beginning January 2022. The FDA approved Semglee as the first biosimilar insulin to improve glycemic control in adults and pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes and in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Express Scripts estimates cost savings of $20 million in 2022 by preferring Semglee injection on its National Preferred Formulary, which includes more than 28 million lives. The National Preferred Formulary will exclude the reference product, Lantus.

Related: Express Scripts Releases 2022 Formulary List

“We have advocated for more than a decade for a safe and effective pathway to bring biosimilars to market because they hold tremendous promise for cost savings for patients, plans and our entire health care system,” Amy Bricker, president of Express Scripts, said in a statement. “The FDA approval of the first interchangeable biosimilar signals a historic opportunity to realize these cost savings for our clients and members. This important designation is another milestone toward a pathway for the full adoption of biosimilars, which is critically important to making high-cost medications more affordable for patients, employers and health plans.”

Semglee, offered in 10 mL vials and 3 mL prefilled pens, is administered subcutaneously once daily. It is not recommended for treating diabetic ketoacidosis. In a statement, Viatris officials said commercial preparations for launch are under way.

Related: FDA Approves First Biosimilar Insulin

Express Scripts, an Evernorth company, will also add Semglee to its Patient Assurance Program, which protects patients from high out-of-pocket costs by capping member copays at $25 for up to a 34-day supply of select diabetes medications. Beginning January 1, 2022, the program will expand to include select cardiovascular medications that have been proven to reduce the risk of stroke.

Semglee injection also will be added to the company's SafeGuardRx Diabetes Care Value program, a value-based care solution that provides support to people with diabetes.

An Evernorth analysis estimates biosimilars could reduce drug spending by $225 billion to $375 billion over the next decade.