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.