Prime Therapeutics Drops Two Drugs from Medicare Formularies

The changes were made because generics are now available; the change impacts specific client formularies.

Prime Therapeutics has removed two drugs from two different Medicare formularies. Amarin’s Vascepa (icosapent ethyl) caps, 0.5 gm was removed from Horizon’s Medicare formulary in favor of generics. Vascepa is used reduce the risk of heart and stroke and to lower triglycerides in adults. The change was effective Oct. 6, 2022. Several Vascepa generics have been available since 2020. According to GoodRx, the lowest retail price of the generic is $24.55 for 30 capsules.

Amarin is developing a fixed-dose combination of Vascepa with statins, including Lipitor (atorvastatin) and Crestor (rosuvastatin). Laboratory studies show the combinations reduce lipid oxidation, which can be an important factor in heart disease.

Almirall’s Tazorac (tazarotene) gel, 0.05% and 0.1%, was removed from Capital Blue Cross’s Medicare formulary effective Oct. 7, 2022. Tazorac is tazarotene is a vitamin A derivative used to treat acne and psoriasis.

In September 2022, the FDA approved Cosette Pharmaceuticals’ abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) for the first generic version of Tazorac gel, 0.05% and 0.1%. The company has received 180 days competitive generic therapy (CGT) exclusivity. Generics of the cream formulation are available from Cosette and Taro. The lowest retail price of the cream formulation is about $40 through mail order, according to GoodRx.