Change in Preferred Drug List Status for the Smoking Cessation Drug Class Effective May 16, 2023

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HHSC is aware of a drug shortage for the brand name Chantix in the Smoking Cessation drug class due to a manufacturing delay of this product by Pfizer. We received reports of a shortage from managed care organizations (MCOs), and verified it with the manufacturer.

In response to the preferred brand name Chantix shortage, HHSC removed the non-preferred status from the generic product, varenicline, on the preferred drug list (PDL). The preferred status of the brand name Chantix products (NDC 00069-0468-56, 00069-0471-03, 00069-0469-56) will not change to allow for any existing stock available to be utilized. HHSC removed the non-preferred status for the following generic drugs, effective May 16, 2023, and HHSC will reflect these changes in the daily formulary file for MCOs.

NDC Generic Drug Name
49884015576 Varenicline 0.5 mg tablet
49884015676 Varenicline 1 mg tablet
49884094499 Varenicline starting month box

These changes will allow providers to prescribe the generic varenicline without requiring a PDL prior authorization and continue accessing necessary medication for clients.