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Home » Cigna’s PBM Express scripts latest to include Abbvie’s least expensive Humira biosimilars on preferred drug list

Cigna’s PBM Express scripts latest to include Abbvie’s least expensive Humira biosimilars on preferred drug list

Cigna’s pharmacy advantages supervisor, Specific Scripts, mentioned Monday it would put “a number of” biosimilar variations of Abbvie’s costly rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira within the “identical place because the model” on the PBM formulary in 2023 .

Humira, authorised by the US Meals and Drug Administration 20 years in the past, has for years been one of the costly medicine within the nation, producing greater than $20 billion in gross sales for its maker, Abbvie, in 2021 alone. Cigna and Specific Scripts mentioned that Humira, which treats pores and skin and inflammatory situations, is likely one of the most generally used specialty medicine.


Cigna Pharmacy and Specific Scripts Be part of UnitedHealth Group OptumRx on the Transfer Subsequent 12 months that can create competitors from inexpensive biosimilars and convey potential price financial savings to the US healthcare system. As a result of Humira is so costly at greater than $50,000 a yr per affected person, Cigna’s determination means probably hundreds of sufferers might change to cheaper alternate options by 2023, saving Cigna and Specific Scripts clients and the US well being care system probably billions of {dollars} a yr.

“This determination helps us obtain decrease prices for sufferers and plans, whereas offering selection and suppleness to sufferers and suppliers as extra biosimilars come to market,” mentioned Harold Carter, director of pharmaceutical enterprise relations at Specific Scripts. “Lack of competitors permits prescription drug costs to skyrocket. We will create extra competitors within the inflammatory drug class by including biosimilars to our largest formularies within the coming months and doing what we do finest – decreasing drug prices for the thousands and thousands of individuals we serve.”

There have already been a rising variety of research displaying that biosimilar variations of Humira are simply as efficient and secure as Humira. So PBM’s medical doctors and executives see no purpose why sufferers should not have the ability to select the least costly biosimilar variations.


“By including biosimilars in the popular state within the coming months, we will provide choices on this complicated and dynamic market,” Carter mentioned.

Information from Specific Scripts exhibits that specialty medicine “drive half of whole drug spending, though they’re utilized by lower than 2 % of the inhabitants.”

“As at all times, we are going to keep agile and proceed to barter with drug producers to assist sufferers and plans obtain decrease drug prices,” Carter mentioned. “Market competitors is required to drive down drug costs in the long run, and it requires shut coordination of care to assist sufferers begin a brand new drug. We’re uniquely positioned to do each and, within the course of, assist entry to those secure and efficient medicines for these we serve.”

Humira, which treats autoimmune illnesses akin to Crohn’s illness and rheumatoid arthritis, has generated practically $200 billion in gross sales for its producers over the previous 20 years.

Neither Abbvie nor its former mum or dad firm, Abbott Laboratories, Humira found. Abbott underneath then-CEO Miles White met Humira by acquisition, a 2001 buy of Knoll Prescription drugs for practically $7 billion in money. Abbott spun off its model identify drug enterprise in 2013 into what turned Abbvie.


When Abbott purchased Humira, the biologic was already within the closing levels of growth, and late levels of scientific trials made the product look promising. Knoll additionally introduced a number of of Abbott’s top-selling medicine to Abbott. together with the favored Synthroid thyroid therapy and different model identify prescriptions that generated billions of {dollars} in gross sales over time, making the Humira acquisition much less of a monetary threat.

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