Magazine article Drug Topics

Glaxo Files Calif. Formulary Suit to Reinstate Zantac

Magazine article Drug Topics

Glaxo Files Calif. Formulary Suit to Reinstate Zantac

Article excerpt

Gglaxo has sued California over the state's decision to cut Zantac from its Medi-Cal (California Medicaid) formulary on June 30. The decision affects about 30,000 patients in California and more than $18 million in sales.

"We have a responsibility to the 30,000 Medi-Cal patients who have come to rely on Zantac," said Robert Ingram, Glaxo executive v.p. "But there's also an issue of fairness in the selection process for the list of contract drugs."

Medi-Cal currently reimburses for four H sub 2 antagonists: Zantac, Axid (Eli Lilly & Co.), Tagamet (Smith/Kline Beecham), and Pepcid (Merck & Co.). It appears that only Tagamet and Pepcid will survive the formulary cut.

Medi-Cal paid $18.28 million for 253,367 Zantac 150-mg scripts in 1992, its single most expensive drug purchase. The state also paid $21.95 million for 361,621 Tagamet 400-mg and 300-mg scripts. Pepcid purchases were $8.1 million for 120,840 scripts. The total Medi-Cal drug budget was about $1 billion.

In order to cut rising drug costs, the state Department of Health Services initiated a review of 17 therapeutic categories, covering about 75% of Medi-Cal's drug budget. The legislature instructed DHS to cut $18 million by reducing the number of formulary products in each category. …

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