The Bureau of TennCare decided Thursday to follow a TennCare Pharmacy Advisory Committee recommendation to expand its preferred drug list for smoking cessation products and ease the burden some doctors have contended existed prior to the move.
TennCare will now expand of its enrollees the preferred drug list to include all unique chemical entities of smoking cessation products, including varenicline, which the pubic recognizes as Chantix. The chemical entities join bupropion sustained release (generic for Zyban) and all generic nicotine products (gums, lozenges, and patches) on the preferred drug list for smoking cessation.
Also, now that the Bureau of TennCare has acted, a physician will be able to prescribe to TennCare enrollees the smoking cessation drugs without going through prior authorization or step therapy (a.k.a. “fail first).
On July 1, the Bureau of TennCare announced that medically necessary smoking cessation products would be covered for all enrollees in the program. Previously, the benefit was available only to pregnant women and enrollees under 21, while all enrollees had access to smoking cessation counseling services through their primary care providers.