Newsroom | 16 December 2014

Cigna's Demonstration of "Real World" Effectiveness for Hepatitis C New Drug Therapies Drives Affordability Strategies


Cigna Corporation
Media Contact:
Karen Eldred, 860-787-7015

  • Connected pharmacy benefit enables working with doctors to evaluate cure rates

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., December 16, 2014 - Cigna (NYSE: CI) is monitoring the health outcomes of customers with hepatitis C who have undergone treatment using a prescription combination with the drug Sovaldi. Cigna found that 91.1% of customers achieved a sustained virologic response (SVR). Customers who have an SVR when tested 12 weeks after the completion of treatment are considered cured.

"It is critical to understand how prescription drugs perform in the "real world," as well as clinical trials, since the newest drug treatments for hepatitis C can easily exceed $100,000. The good news is that our customers match the clinical trial success rates," says Christopher Bradbury, vice president, integrated clinical and specialty drug solutions for Cigna Pharmacy Management.

"The challenge, of course, remains overall affordability. We plan to continue to obtain these insights, including understanding Harvoni's and other new product cure rates in the real world setting. We believe that these insights are important for all stakeholders in developing strategies to ensure the best health in the most cost-effective manner, as well as for advancing outcomes-based approaches and offerings."

Cigna is taking several steps to try to address the affordability issue, including:

  • Requiring all prescriptions for hepatitis C therapy to undergo a prior authorization review to ensure appropriate coverage. The coverage policy conforms to applicable professional practice guidelines and incorporates factors related to a customer's infection type, comorbid conditions and prior treatment history.
  • Continuously evaluating coverage criteria using the latest clinical evidence.
  • Negotiating pharmaceutical manufacturer discounts for existing and upcoming treatment alternatives.
  • Offering therapy support management through Cigna Specialty Pharmacy Services to every customer undergoing hepatitis C treatment, because keeping customers engaged in maintaining treatment compliance is critical to achieving the intended clinical and financial benefits of the medication.

SVR rates can vary based on multiple factors, including, but not limited to, genotype, drug regimen, treatment history, co-infection with HIV and the presence or absence of cirrhosis or advanced liver disease. Cigna looked at the SVR results of customers taking the following combinations of drugs for treatment: Sovaldi and Olysio; Sovaldi, PegIFN and Ribavirin; or Sovaldi and Ribavirin. Because Cigna's pharmacy benefit is connected to the medical benefit, the company is able to work directly with health care professionals to evaluate outcomes, such as obtaining SVR results.

About Cigna

Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has approximately 85 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit