CVS Health Corp. has excluded Amgen Inc.’s drug Aimovig from its list of preferred treatments for migraine, according to a Reuters report at the end of January.

The Federal Food and Drug Administration approved Aimovig in May. At the time, Thousand Oaks-based biotech Amgen called it “the first and only FDA-approved treatment specifically developed to prevent migraine by blocking the calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor.”

CVS included Eli Lilly & Co.’s Emgality and Teva Pharmaceutical’s Ajovy on its list of preferred treatments. Drugs excluded from preferred lists are still available on a lower access level but there is usually higher out-of-pocket cost. All three choices have a list price of $575 per month, or $6,900 a year, not including rebates and discounts.

Amgen’s Aimovig was first-to-market, with Teva and Lilly presenting similar treatments soon after. All three treatments were approved by the FDA in 2018 and belong to a class of drugs called CGRP inhibitors.

Another top U.S. pharmacy benefit manager owned by UnitedHealth Group Inc. included Amgen’s Aimovig and Eli Lilly’s Emgality on its preferred list, but excluded Teva’s Ajovy, according to a Reuters report Feb. 1.

Exer’s New Location

Exer More Than Urgent Care opened a new location in Canyon Country on Feb. 6, with Santa Clarita Councilman Bob Keller, 21st Senate District representative Kris Hough and Exer ER doctors and medical staff in attendance.

In partnership with Facey Medical Group, Exer brings the first ER alternative care, which focuses on having more specialists in-house, to the area. The 37,000-square-foot medical office also houses Facey primary care physicians, specialists and an expanded eye care center.

Facey is an affiliate of Providence Health & Services, which for three years has partnered with Exer to expand in areas served by Providence hospitals and clinics, according to a press release from Exer.

“We’re absolutely delighted to open our doors here in Canyon Country,” said Rob Mahan, Exer’s chief executive in a statement. “Thanks to our incredible partners at Facey Medical Group, our expert medical teams at Exer Canyon Country will serve this rapidly-developing community with an ER alternative that’s intended for when conditions become urgent, or serious, but non-life threatening.”

A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at the center at 14550 Soledad Canyon Road. Canyon Country marks Exer’s 10th location in Southern California, including clinics in Calabasas, Newbury Park, Northridge, Sherman Oaks and Stevenson Ranch.

Hixme CEO

Hixme Insurance Solutions Inc., an Agoura Hills company specializing in health insurance software technology, has appointed Rodney Gibson as its new chief executive.

Gibson brings more than 20 years of startup experience, most recently from Oscar Health, where he served in operational and strategic roles.

During his four years at Oscar Health, the company scaled from a team of 35 to more than 900 employees and 260,000 members nationally, generating more than $1 billion in annual revenue with a valuation of $3.2 billion, according to a press release from Hixme.

Gibson also served as vice president of business development at TriNet prior to Oscar Health. He worked with venture-backed technology companies and financial services firms, outsourcing back-office HR administration and health care benefits.

“Rodney has an exceptional track record of building companies with great customer experience, high employee satisfaction and solid shareholder returns,” said Derek Newell, Hixme chairman, in a statement.

Kaiser Management

Murtaza Sanwari has been appointed senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente in Woodland Hills.

Sanwari, who has nearly 20 years of experience with Kaiser, will be responsible for all hospital and health plan functions in the service area.

“He is perfectly suited to lead and build upon ongoing strategic initiatives to enhance care delivery, our facilities and the member experience in the West San Fernando Valley and Ventura County areas,” Bill Caswell, chief operating officer for Kaiser Permanente Southern California, said in a statement.

Sanwari joined Kaiser Permanente in 1999, serving in multiple roles at the Southern California regional offices. He then moved into hospital operations, serving as assistant administrator of support services at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, focusing on operations, market development, strategic ventures, and capital and strategic planning.

Kaiser Permanente’s Woodland Hills service area includes West San Fernando Valley and Ventura County, and the communities of Agoura, Calabasas, Camarillo, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Encino, Fillmore, Moorpark, Newbury Park, Northridge, Oxnard, Porter Ranch, Reseda, Santa Paula, Sherman Oaks (West), Simi Valley, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Topanga, Ventura, Winnetka and Woodland Hills.

Staff Reporter Amy Stulick can be reached at or at (818) 316-3121.