Since CVS Health Corp. dropped the blockbuster drug Humira (adalimumab) from its national commercial template formularies on April 1, the number of prescriptions written for Humira biosimilars has jumped from just 5% to 36%, according to a recent equity analyst report.

Speakers at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) conference in New Orleans said the development is encouraging and could change the game for future biosimilars — including those in the pipeline for another immunosuppressive drug, Stelara (ustekinumab). But clinicians speaking at the conference also said that the transition to biosimilars has not always gone smoothly for patients.

For example, rheumatologist Mark Box, M.D., said the potential cost savings associated with switching patients to biosimilars compared to the administrative burden on providers “often does not balance.”