For USA - CVS Pharmacy to Stop Selling Xtandi and other Cancer Drugs

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CVS Pharmacy is hurting millions of cancer patients by refusing to sell dozens of cancer treatment drugs, like leukemia drug Tasigna, prostate cancer drug Xtandi and chemotherapy treatment drug Neupogen, starting in 2017. CVS claims these drugs cost too much. Go ahead and tell that to my insurance provider and Medicare but don’t stop selling these drugs to me and millions of cancer patients.

CVS is putting profit above the care of cancer patients.

If CVS can make money by selling cheap cosmetics and imported cookies, then CVS can make money off of lifesaving drugs.

CVS says there are other drugs that work just as well for most patients. But “most” is not “all patients.” That’s why doctors prescribe different drugs to different patients.

CVS Pharmacy is currently the largest pharmacy chain in the United States. For millions of American’s, CVS is the only pharmacy for miles around. By hurting millions of cancer patients, CVS has become a face of evil. Now, it’s up to us to make phone calls, write letters or send emails to change the course of this wrongheaded move.

Tell CVS’ Medical Director to sell all FDA approved cancer drugs, not just the ones that give CVS the most profit:

troyen.brennan@cvshealth.com

401-770-4801 and 401-651-3137

Troyen Brennan, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Director

CVS Health

One CVS Drive

Woonsocket, Rhode Island 02895

20 Replies

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  • Darryl,

    I just called local CVS Pharmacy where I pick up my Xtandi and she hadn't heard about it. Hope it won't happen. This is in Hawaii. Perhaps it depends on the health care insurance .

    Wilfred

  • There is an exception for patients who have already started xtandi

  • I am not ready for Xtandi yet but I surely will find out from my own CVS. I don't think they will want to lose me because I am a fixture with them. Is CVS also phasing out Zytiga?

  • No, Zytiga will be paid for, Xtandi will not nor will you be able to buy it from them. The issue is that in the normal course of events you will probably want to take both. but if you are with CVS you will not be able to get Xtandi at all unless you self-pay and get it from a different outlet.

    Also, this establishes a dangerous precedent for other insurance companies to eliminate other cancer drugs. Please call the contact information that Daryl gave us.

    Joel

  • My insurance only covered Attica and Xtandi mail order through a specialty pharmacy...no drug chains.

  • Zytiga not Attica. Sorry.

  • email sent, hope it does some good

  • Also you can follow up with a phone call. We want CVS to hear us and become concerned with a ground swell.

    Joel

  • This is the problem with consolidation and buy-outs. They become a monopoly in many areas and then set their own policies. Again makes the case for single payer health care where they can also buy pharmaceuticals. We have seen the same pattern with cable TV, cellular service, banking and the airlines. Once they control the market the shareholders and CEO salaries are most important. I forgot to mention what is going on in health insurance as well.

  • CORRECT- Be aware that CVS is not only the retail outlet, it is also the largest specialty pharmacy insurance company (CVS/Care Mart).

    Pleae reach out to them with emails and phone calls. Get your family and friend to also reach out. You don't need to have prostate cancer to be concerned with this type of decision. If they are able to get away with this this type of policy will spread to other drugs for other diseases.

    Joel

  • Darryl,

    I also use CVS Specialty to get my Zytiga. Just four months ago, I was denied Xtandi, but approved for Zytiga. This may have been in the works for a while now. It's unfortunate for patients as well as doctors. I'll do my part to have this stupidity rectified.

    Joe

  • Thanks Joe

    Joel

  • Thank you! CVS has also changed to the cheapest fentanyl patches. They don't deliver consistent medication and fall off after a day or so. I wonder if anyone else has had the same problem.

  • I spoke with 3 different representatives at Caremark Specialty and they all said that that is no true. They will continue to provide Xtandi to everyone new and old patients alike. Obviously it needs approval from your insurance Carrier.

  • Caremark misinformed you You can google this to verify for yourself. I posted a link to a Bloomberg news article for your convenience

  • One other note CVS Pharmacy accepts some insurance plans that are not impacted by this formulary decision. Maybe yours is one. The majority, as best as we understand, including Medicare, are impacted

  • Here are twitter tags for CVS. Use these tags with your message on twitter. Some companies really watch the social media channels.

    @CVSinAction @CVSHealth @CVS_Extra

    These descriptions are from CVS:

    @CVSinAction

    CVS in the Community

    We help people on their path to better health and support #communityhealth through charitable giving, volunteerism and partnerships in our local communities.

    @CVSHealth

    We are a pharmacy innovation company with a simple and clear purpose: Helping people on their path to better health. Customer Care: cvshealth.com/contact

    @CVS_Extra

    CVS Pharmacy

    We're here to help you on your path to better health. Follow us for weekly deals, tips for healthy living, trending beauty, and more.

  • Luke, Thanks for this great information

    Joel

  • I am from Sri Lanka and I was really flabbergasted to have read this news about the CVS Pharmacy and its chain in USA.

    Shame upon them to go for such a policy without having an aorta of sympathy or concern on the innocent PCa patients who are using these drugs! Those who are greedy for money/profits never see the value of human life. Not only this type of ruthless companies but also some of those who are in the medical profession who too are prepared to go to bed with them.

    At least as an immediate short term solution, this uproar created and conveying a strong message to CVS pharmacy is meaningful.

    But I believe the root cause of this problem lies in a different court and the players are the multinational drug manufacturing companies who fix extremely high and unreasonable prices to cancer drugs. They are exponentially inflated to maximize their profits. If these prices are fixed by the NASA Institute for the life in other planets they speculate, based on the colossal amounts of money they spend on research ( That again I believe are public funds ), one can see some justification. FDA should not give the approval for drugs with unreasonably high prices with bogus claims on the cost of research involved, done with the ulterior motive of earning the maximum profits from the terminally ill people. The saddest part of the story is some shameless oncologists joining this mafia!

    A separate war should be launched to deal with this grave injustice. No cancer drugs should be approved or accepted for treatment unless the pricing is reasonable so that the cost can be absorbed by the government medicare or insurance cover within the reach of average people. Otherwise, all have to refuse and boycott these drugs as poison and willingly choose death without having to write their Last Will to these rogue drug companies. Then they will be compelled to offer cheaper alternatives ( quite possible like in India ) without hoodwinking on research cost and "quality" in order to survive in business.

    Then only we can survive and they can survive!

    I will remain alert on the new developments in the USA with the forthcoming presidential election and more keen to see this type of health care issues resolved for the benefit of our fraternity.

    Good luck!

    Sisira

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