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AstraZeneca Announces Increased Coverage Of BRILINTA (Ticagrelor) Through Plan Preferred Formulary Status On Medco Health Solutions

Stocks in this article: AZN

AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) today announced that BRILINTA ® (ticagrelor) tablets received Plan Preferred Tier 2 formulary access on Medco Health Solutions’ National commercial formulary and Preferred Brand formulary status on its Medicare Part D drug list.

“This is an important milestone recognizing the clinical value of BRILINTA,” said Alex Gold, MD, Executive Director of Clinical Development, BRILINTA, AstraZeneca. The addition of BRILINTA to the Medco Health Solutions formulary will provide physicians and ACS patients with an important treatment option to reduce the rate of thrombotic CV events.

Medco Health Solutions, Inc. is a leading Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) with the nation's largest mail order pharmacy operations and more than 60 million members. In addition to Medco, BRILINTA is now on formulary at 49 percent of the top 400 hospitals throughout the U.S. A full list of available formularies for BRILINTA can be found on Fingertip Formulary, a website that offers formulary drug status on the most commonly prescribed drugs across a comprehensive list of health plans. 1

Recently in February 2012, the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) updated its guidelines on Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis to include a recommendation for giving BRILINTA with low-dose aspirin to patients in the first year after an ACS. This is the first time that clinical treatment guidelines in the U.S. have specifically suggested use of BRILINTA over clopidogrel. 2

In November 2011, a combined expert committee from American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF), the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) updated its guidelines for the management of patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), an artery-opening procedure, to provide a Class I recommendation for giving BRILINTA to patients undergoing PCI with stenting. 3 A Class 1 recommendation is the highest recommendation provided by the guidelines committee and is defined as a "procedure/treatment that should be performed/administered" to patients, given it was found to be "useful/effective/beneficial." Additionally, AHA/ACCF also revised their Guidelines on Secondary Prevention and Risk Reduction Therapy to include BRILINTA, in combination with low-dose aspirin to be taken twice daily for at least 12 months in patients receiving a bare-metal stent (BMS) or drug-eluting stent (DES) during PCI for ACS. 4

BRILINTA is indicated to reduce the rate of thrombotic cardiovascular events in patients with ACS (unstable angina [UA] non-–ST-elevation myocardial infarction [NSTEMI], or ST-elevation myocardial infarction [STEMI]). BRILINTA has been shown to reduce the rate of a combined end point of CV death, MI, or stroke compared to clopidogrel. The difference between treatments was driven by CV death and MI with no difference in stroke. In patients treated with PCI, BRILINTA reduces the rate of stent thrombosis.

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