12/21/2012 7:33:18 AM
Vivus Inc said its obesity drug Qsymia will now be covered by the largest U.S. pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts Holding Co, giving more people access to the drug and reducing costs for patients. Express Scripts added Qsymia as a standard benefit option to its national formulary, which means patients will now pay about $50 to $60 as their co-payment on a monthly prescription of Qsymia, or about one-third of the retail price. The drug is currently available only through mail-order pharmacies for an average retail price of $160. Vivus's Chief Commercial Officer Mike Miller said last month that about 30 percent of patients receiving a Qsymia prescription did not buy the drug because of the cost. Vivus's shares rose 8 percent to a high of $14.71 in early trade on the Nasdaq.
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