Amgen’s new migraine treatment, Aimovig, was one of the most anticipated drugs to win FDA approval last year — and demand has been strong. But sales for the CGRP inhibitor — which works by blocking one of the gene-related pathways that triggers migraines — could take a hit in 2019 from rivals that won preferred coverage from one of the country’s largest pharmacy benefit managers.
Late last week, news broke that CVS Health Corp. is giving preferred status to Teva Pharmaceutical’s Ajovy and Eli Lilly’s Emgality — two other CGRP inhibitors that entered the market last year — but not Aimovig.
CVS benefits affect about 93 million Americans, and winning preferred status by PBMs is considered a crucial step in boosting sales for emerging drugs. CVS members will now be offered Ajovy and Emgality over Aimovig if other migraine treatments fail.
Amgen expressed disappointment over the news, but said the company will continue working on being a preferred brand for CVS. Aimovig does enjoy preferred status by some health insurers such as Cigna.
Read the full Reuters report.