Wellpoint Health Networks has implemented new guidelines on prescriptions of Pfizer s Zytrec, Aventis' Allegra and Schering-Plough's Clarinex. Wellpoint has placed the drugs in the highest co-pay tier and requires special physician approval to obtain the prescriptions. Health insurers Humana, Sierra Health Networks and UnitedHealth Group will follow Wellpoint's lead in incentivizing patients to take OTC Claritin by implementing similiar procedures, according to a news report.
In related news, Schering-Plough may not be the only loratadine OTC player come January. The U.S. District Court of New Jersey recently ruled that the exclusivity patent protecting Claritin did not extend through 2004 as Schering-Plough argued, but instead expires Dec. 19. The consumer health care divisions of both Wyeth and McNeil have each filed loratadine applications to the FDA. Schering-Plough appealed the decision.
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