Arena Pharmaceuticals Secures Belviq Deal With CVS Caremark
Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARNA) and Eisai Inc. announced Monday that their weight loss drug, Belviq, will be available to more people thanks to a new partnership with CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS), a pharmacy benefits manager.
Pharmacy benefits managers like Caremark act as a kind of intermediary within the health care system; PBMs are third-party administrators of prescription drug programs and are primarily responsible for processing and paying for prescription drug claims.
Employers and health plans that use CVS Caremark as a PBM have agreed to broaden the coverage of Belviq. In addition, the health insurer Aetna, which has been evaluating Belviq along with a competing drug made by Vivus, called Qsymia, announced it will now offer Belviq as a preferred brand to eligible patients through its pilot program to self-insured plan sponsors across the country.
An Arena Pharmaceuticals press release stated that as a result of the agreement with CVS Caremark, more than half of Americans with insurance should now have access to Belviq.