CVS, Cigna's Evernorth lean into Humira biosimilars

As some formularies begin to favor biosimilars, CVS Health and Cigna Group's Evernorth are veering further into the biosimilar business, The Wall Street Journal reported April 29. 

CVS replaced Humira — the all-time highest-grossing drug — with biosimilars from its main formularies April 1. A few weeks later, Evernorth Health Services announced a Humira biosimilar will be available for eligible patients in June. 

The first Humira biosimilar launched in January 2023, but AbbVie's autoimmune biologic retained its market influence because of the drugmaker's high rebates for pharmacy benefit managers. 

More disruption is on the horizon. With CVS' Cordavis unit selling a Humira biosimilar through a partnership with Sandoz and Evernorth's plan to offer another that's 85% less expensive than the biologic, the nation's largest pharmacy companies and PBMs have a strong foothold in the emerging market. 

"If the Federal Trade Commission won't step in, why wouldn't they do this?" Robert Popovian, PharmD, a health economist and senior health policy fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, told WSJ

Dr. Popovian said he expects UnitedHealth Group's Optum Rx to join the race soon.

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