Biosimilar Amjevita Wins Spot on Major Formularies, but Humira Proves Tough to Dislodge

When Amgen Inc.’s Amjevita (adalimumab-atto) landed on the U.S. market late last month, it became the first of several biosimilars to Humira that will finally be available to patients this year — and which will aim to topple the lucrative franchise of AbbVie’s blockbuster autoimmune condition drug. According to health care industry experts, early indications of how major PBMs are covering Amjevita speak volumes about the power of rebates and the largely untested potential for biosimilars to drive down biologic prices and capture market share.

The arrival of Humira biosimilars has been eagerly anticipated by those who hope they’ll reduce spending on a multi-indication therapy that has long strained payer budgets — thanks in large part to AbbVie’s infamous maneuvering to stave off competition. Amjevita, for example, was first approved in 2016, but AbbVie was able to prevent its launch due to litigation over infringement on Humira patents. A settlement reached in 2017 delayed Amjevita’s U.S. launch to Jan. 31, 2023.

© 2024 MMIT
Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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