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Reporting a Medication Error

CVS Caremark limits the use of certain anticoagulation medicines

March 1, 2022

Late last year, CVS Caremark decided to limit patient access to certain direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs), sometimes called blood thinners. The DOACs—Eliquis (apixaban), Pradaxa (dabigatran), Savaysa (edoxaban), and Xarelto (rivaroxaban) are medicines used to prevent blood clots from forming. They are often used to prevent and/or treat stroke and other serious conditions. Unfortunately, this decision meant many people who were taking one of these medicines needed to change to a different medicine. This has caused some safety risks and harm for those who had to switch to another medicine. Some health advocacy organizations (www.ismp.org/ext/888) have expressed concern about this decision and asked CVS Caremark to continue coverage for people already taking a particular DOAC.

Here’s what you can do: If you currently take a DOAC and have CVS Caremark, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to request an exception to prevent any treatment interruption or switch you to a different medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the new medicine, how much to take, and when to take it. Determine when you will start the new medicine and ask your doctor when you should schedule a follow-up visit. Notify your doctor of any changes or questions you may have.

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