Humira's $114B monopoly to fall in February: 4 notes

Humira, AbbVie's anti-inflammatory drug that has dozens of patents and $114 billion in U.S. sales, has a tight grasp on its market. That's soon to change, The New York Times reported Jan. 28. 

Since 2002, AbbVie has blocked numerous biologics, but the nation's best-selling drug — which has earned $208 billion globally — will have competition in 2023 after two decades of exclusivity. 

Four things to know: 

1. About six years after its approval, Amgen's Amjevita will enter the market, and nine more are expected to be ready in 2024, according to the Times

2. Analysts at Moody's forecasted Humira's yearslong monopoly to crumble this year as three biosimilars are poised to premiere this year. In a January report, Moody's said its sales, which are about $18 billion each year, will fall between 45 percent and 55 percent. 

3. OptumRx, UnitedHealth's pharmacy benefit manager, cleared a spot for the biosimilars on its formulary. 

4. Humira's price has bumped up about 30 times since 2002, and since the end of 2016, its list price has increased 60 percent to over $80,000 per year, according to the Times.

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