UnitedHealth Trims Drug Coverage

Lantus gets the boot for diabetes

UnitedHealth Group, the largest health insurer in the U.S., will stop covering several brand-name drugs as of next year, according to a Reuters report. In a recent bulletin, the company said it is changing reimbursement terms for long-acting insulins and will no longer cover Sanofi’s Lantus. Instead, Basaglar (Eli Lilly), a cheaper biosimilar insulin, will be covered as Tier 1.

In addition, UnitedHealth plans to move Novo Nordisk’s Levemir (insulin detemir) from Tier 1 to Tier 2.

Last month, CVS Health also announced plans to drop Lantus in favor of Lilly’s new biosimilar.

In another change, UnitedHealth said it will also exclude from coverage Amgen’s leukocyte-boosting drug Neupogen (filgrastim) in favor of the biosimilar product Zarxio (filgrastim-sndz, Sandoz).

Source: Reuters; September 22, 2016.