SALES DRIVEN BY PRICE GOUGING, PATENT THICKETS & PRICE HIKES
AbbVie’s eye-popping sales for Humira have been driven by a concerted strategy to block competition by building a patent thicket around the drug, and by consistently increasing the price of the drug.
- Humira was the #1 selling drug in the world with $21.2 billion in sales in 2022.
- Humira’s price almost doubled from 2012 to 2018 – from about $19,000 to $38,000.
- AbbVie has secured 166 patents total for Humira, with 94 percent of them filed after the drug’s initial FDA approval.
- Humira was first approved in 2002, meaning the drug has gone almost 20 years without any biosimilar competition.
- AbbVie has hiked the price of Humira each of the last five years – including at the start of 2023.
SIGNIFICANT COST TO PATIENTS, TAXPAYERS
AbbVie’s egregious tactics around Humira come at great expense to American patients and taxpayers.
- Price Hikes On Humira Were Not Supported By Clinical Evidence And Led To A More Than $1.8 Billion Increase In Unnecessary U.S. Drug Spending. Price hikes on AbbVie’s Humira were not supported by new clinical evidence and accounted for an unnecessary increase in U.S. drug spending of more than $1.8 billion from 2017-2018 according to ICER. (Arlene Weintraub, “AbbVie’s Humira, Roche’s Rituxan top ICER’s list of worst price- hike offenders,” FierceHealthcare, 10/8/2019)
- The Lack Of Biosimilar Competition To Humira In The U.S. Is Estimated To Cost American Payers And Taxpayers $14.4 Billion. According to I-MAK the lack of biosimilar competition to Humira in the U.S. is “estimated to cost American payers and taxpayers an excess of $14.4 billion.” (“Overpatented, Overpriced,” I-MAK, 10/1/2020)
- Sales Of Humira Plummeted Over 35 Percent In The First Year The Drug Faced Biosimilar Competition In International Markets. Sales of Humira dropped 35.2 percent in the first year after patent exclusivity expired in international markets — allowing more affordable biosimilar competitors to enter the market and drive down prices. Over the same period, U.S. sales of Humira climbed by 7.7 percent where AbbVie maintains monopoly status on the drug. (Zacks Equity Research, “AbbVie (ABBV) Beats Q2 Earnings and Revenues, Shares Up,” Yahoo Finance, 7/26/19)
- AbbVie’s CFO Boasted About The Company’s Patent Strategy In The U.S. In September 2018, AbbVie’s Chief Financial Officer Bill Chase boasted about extending Humira’s U.S. monopoly, even as more affordable competitors were brought to market in Europe, saying, “you’ve seen us execute very nicely with our legal strategy and the settlements around the U.S. events to delay the onset of [competition].” (Bob Herman, “AbbVie Boasts Of Extending Humira’s U.S. Monopoly,” Axios, 9/12/18)
- AbbVie has secured 166 patents total for Humira, with 94 percent of them filed after the drug’s initial FDA approval. (“Overpatented, Overpriced,” I-MAK, 01/24/23)
- The company derives 40 percent of its U.S. pharmaceutical revenue from Humira. (“Overpatented, Overpriced,” I-MAK, 01/24/23)
- Two-thirds of Humira’s U.S. sales came after the expiration of the primary patents on the drug. (“Overpatented, Overpriced,” I-MAK, 01/24/23)
- The drug will have brought in over $100 billion for the company by the time it first faces generic competition in the U.S. (“Overpatented, Overpriced,” I-MAK, 01/24/23)
PRICE HIKES & MASSIVE SALES
- AbbVie’s blockbuster arthritis drug Humira, notched the top spot for the world’s best-selling drug for a tenth straight year in 2022, reporting sales of $21.2 billion.
- AbbVie has hiked prices on 44 prescription drugs so far in 2023. This included an eight percent increase each on the company’s blockbuster autoimmune drug Humira.
- AbbVie also increased Humira’s price in 2022, 2021 and 2020.
- In 2022, Humira brought in more than $21 billion in revenue, more than all 32 NFL teams combined.
PAID FOR BY CAMPAIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE RX PRICING