Cigna, Merck ink diabetes drug deal

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Cigna has reached an agreement with Merck through which its customers can have access to increased discounts on Merck's oral anti-diabetes medications Januvia and Janumet--if Cigna provides evidence supporting medication use and glycemic control improvement in patients.

Used in conjunction with diet and exercise, the two medications can help to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes.

The Broomfield, Conn.-based Cigna said will review available A1C lab values for people taking any oral anti-diabetes medications, and, if at the end of the year, A1C values have improved, the discounts Merck offers on Januvia and Janumet will increase.

In an effort to help improve medication adherence, Cigna will also review claims data for individuals with Cigna pharmacy benefits who are on Januvia or Janumet during that same time period to determine if these individuals are taking the medications as prescribed by their physicians. If they are, the Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck said it will increase the discounts it offers Cigna on these medications even more.