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Pharmacy Update, July 2020

The changes in this bulletin apply to all groups that use the Net Cost Formulary. These changes include decisions that occurred as a result of our June 2020 Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee (P&T) meeting.

Metformin ER Recall Alert

On May 28, 2020, the FDA announced that laboratory testing has revealed levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) above the agency’s acceptable intake limit in several lots of the extended-release (ER) formulation of metformin.

Formulary Update

The changes in this bulletin apply to all groups that use the Net Cost Formulary.

New Preferred Specialty Pharmacy Name

Effective immediately, the preferred specialty pharmacy for PAI will be known as Optum Specialty Pharmacy, formerly BriovaRx.

COVID-19 Quantity Limits Policy

PAI and OptumRx have developed a new Quantity Limit policy to provide clinical guidance for prescribing hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine related to COVID-19 treatment.

Withdrawal of Ranitidine

The FDA announced that it is requesting manufacturers withdraw all prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine drugs from the market immediately due to contamination with N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).

New Controlled Substance Prescription Requirement

As a part of our PBM’s strategy for battling the national opioid epidemic, effective March 1, 2020, home delivery through OptumRx will require e-prescriptions for ALL controlled substances [for example, opioids for pain, stimulant drugs used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)].

Withdrawal of Belviq and Belviq XR by Eisai

The FDA announced the request to voluntarily withdraw Belviq, Belviq XR (lorcaserin) from the U.S. market because a safety clinical trial showed an increased occurrence of cancer.

Hurricane Dorian Member Update

We are taking steps to ensure our members’ health care coverage needs are continuous and flexible in the event of a storm.

October 1, 2019 Pharmacy Updates

PAI is making some adjustments to our prescription drug lists and pharmacy programs as part of our continued effort to cover medications that are appropriate, as well as cost-effective, for members.

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