Humira biosimilars falter in disrupting the market

Numerous Humira biosimilars are on the market after AbbVie's 20-year exclusive on the rheumatoid arthritis biologic, but they aren't fostering much competition, KFF Health News reported Sept. 19. 

Nine biosimilars have trickled into the market since late January, but pharmacy benefit managers aren't eager to offer them cheaper than the branded autoimmune disease drug, which can cost nearly $7,000 per month. The biosimilars are listed as low as $995 per month.

Express Scripts and OptumRx, two PBMs that account for 55 percent of the industry's market share, have Humira biosimilars on their formularies but at the same price as Humira, according to the report. PBM officials told KFF that AbbVie warned payers they would lose rebates on two branded drugs with no generic competition, Skyrizi and Rinvoq, if they promoted biosimilars over Humira — a strategy that's effectively blocking biosimilar uptake. 

KFF reported that AbbVie did not respond to requests for comment.

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