AbbVie and Alvotech have settled their patent and trade secret disputes, ending a years-long legal battle over Alvotech’s Humira biosimilar. The drug, which Alvotech says has potential as an interchangeable biosimilar, could now launch as early as July 2023 pending FDA review, and Alvotech will pay licensing royalties to AbbVie. For the treatment of psoriasis, Humira holds preferred status for 64% of all insured lives. Virtually all covered lives have some form of access to Humira.
Anthem, Inc., the largest Blues affiliate in the U.S., last week said it plans to change its name to Elevance Health. Executives said the new branding will better reflect its capabilities “beyond traditional health insurance,” such as its PBM business, mental health services and digital offerings. The insurer currently serves 35,586,260 lives.
The FDA on March 4 approved Bristol Myers Squibb’s Opdivo for the treatment of resectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) before surgery in the neoadjuvant setting in conjunction with platinum-doublet chemotherapy. The lightning-fast nod came within days of the agency’s priority review acceptance. As a systemic therapy for NSCLC, Opdivo holds covered or better status for 67% of all insured lives under the pharmacy benefit. 88% of all insured lives have covered or better access to Opdivo under the medical benefit.
Teva Pharmaceuticals this week launched Lenalidomide, a generic alternative to Bristol Myers Squibb’s Revlimid, for the treatment of multiple myeloma. It is the first of several generic challengers to launch. For the treatment of multiple myeloma, Revlimid currently holds covered or better status for 99% of all insured lives. 17.6% of all covered lives have preferred access to Revlimid without utilization management restrictions.
A U.S. District judge on Feb. 28 declined Medicare Advantage startup Clover Health’s request to dismiss a lawsuit from shareholders, alleging the company misled investors during its initial public offering. The “multiple legal and regulatory violations” include violations of the False Claims Act, kickbacks to providers and office staff, misleading claims about Clover Assistant and improperly filed SEC documents. Clover Health currently serves 83,345 Medicare Advantage members, having performed well in the 2022 Annual Election Period, seeing 27.8% growth from Feb. 2021.
Heron Therapeutics’ opioid alternative Zynrelef is not seeing the blockbuster launch some analysts predicted. Commercially launched in July 2021, Zynrelef’s fourth-quarter 2021 sales were just $0.8 million, according to a Feb. 28 earnings release. The drug is currently approved to treat postoperative pain in adult patients following total knee replacement, bunionectomy and groin hernia repair. Under the pharmacy benefit, just 8% of all insured lives have covered or better access to Zynrelef.
Wyoming legislators rejected a series of budget amendments that would have funded Medicaid expansion in the state, according to a Feb. 25 report in the Casper Star-Tribune. Medicaid expansion would make about 24,000 people newly eligible for coverage. Wyoming currently serves 71,140 Medicaid beneficiaries on a fee-for-service basis. Recent polls have suggested that a majority of Wyoming residents are in favor of expansion.
Medicare Advantage enrollment grew 5.3%, to 28.6 million lives, from October 2021 to February 2022, signs of another strong annual enrollment period. Market leader UnitedHealthcare saw a 10.4% increase, to 7.9 million lives.
Viatris, the manufacturer of the first interchangeable biosimilar, on Monday revealed it will sell its biosimilar business to partner Biocon Biologics in a $3.3 billion deal. This includes Semglee, the insulin interchangeable with Sanofi’s Lantus. The drug launched in November 2021. For the treatment of type 2 diabetes, Semglee currently holds covered or better status for 59% of all insured lives, to Lantus’ 70%.
In the wake of a $21 million settlement over mismanaged pharmacy benefits with Centene Corp., New Hampshire legislators are mulling adding dental coverage to the state’s Medicaid program, according to a Feb. 20 report in the Concord Monitor. New Hampshire currently serves 204,712 managed Medicaid lives, with Centene covering 36.5% of the market.