MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ: VVUS) today announced that Express Scripts, among the country's largest Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), has added Qsymia ™ to its national pharmacy formularies, allowing for coverage where available by benefit design of the first new FDA-approved medication commercially available in the U.S. in over a decade for the treatment of chronic weight management.
Express Scripts provides the formulary design, pharmaceutical contract management and claims processing for some of the largest payers and employers in the U.S.
Qsymia has been added as a standard benefit option to Express Scripts' national formulary in a tier-3 position with a prior authorization. Under the Express Scripts plan, participating patients will now pay an estimated $50.00 to $60.00 for their co-payment for a monthly prescription of Qsymia, approximately one-third of the retail price.
"This is a major step forward in expanding access to an important new medication for a population that needs effective pharmacological interventions," said Peter Tam, President of VIVUS. "Obesity has a devastating impact on our society and contributes significantly to comorbidities such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol."Qsymia is available only through mail order from the Qsymia Certified Home Delivery Pharmacy Network, including CVS Pharmacy, Express Scripts, Walgreens and Walmart, as part of the Qsymia Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program. Contact information for the certified pharmacies can be found on www.Qsymia.com and www.QsymiaREMS.com. Qsymia was made available September 17, 2012 and is the first FDA-approved once daily combination therapy — and the first new medication available in 13 years — for the treatment of obesity. About Qsymia Qsymia is approved in the U.S. and is indicated as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults with an initial body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m 2 or greater (obese) or 27 kg/m 2 or greater (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related medical condition such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol. The effect of Qsymia on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not been established. The safety and effectiveness of Qsymia in combination with other products intended for weight loss, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and herbal preparations, have not been established.