AbbVie's International Humira Revenues Drop 33.5% After Biosimilar Competition

November 1, 2019

In its third quarter 2019 financial results, AbbVie, maker of the blockbuster Humira, said that its international revenues for the brand-name adalimumab were $1.049 billion, or a decrease of 33.5% on a reported basis, after having faced competition from biosimilars.

In its third quarter 2019 financial results, AbbVie, maker of the blockbuster Humira, said that its international revenues for the brand-name adalimumab were $1.049 billion, or a decrease of 33.5% on a reported basis, after having faced competition from biosimilars.

Globally, Humira revenues were $4.936 billion, or a decrease of 3.7%. In the United States, however, where Humira will not face a biosimilar challenger until 2023, Humira net revenues were up by 9.6%, reaching $3.887 billion.

These results underscore the strong performance of biosimilars in Europe, where healthcare systems have made concerted efforts to adopt biosimilar adalimumab after the first products launched in October 2018. According to IQVIA data, adalimumab has reached a high of 57% uptake across the EU 5 nations, and discounts have reached levels of 70% to 80%.

As AbbVie looks to the future beyond Humira exclusivity, it is already seeing positive signs from its successor in the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) space, Rinvoq. The oral small-molecule drug, a Janus kinase inhibitor, was approved in August 2019 for the treatment of RA, and the drug launched at a list price of $59,000 annually, or just under the approximately $60,000 per-patient per-year cost of Humira. The drug, which is still pending authorization in the European Union, has already brought in $14 million for AbbVie on US sales alone.

AbbVie also looks to its risankizumab, Skyrisi, which was approved in April of this year for the treatment of plaque psoriasis, to help shore up its sales; the drug brought in $76 million in the United States and an additional $15 million internationally this quarter. The product is also being investigated in phase 3 trials for inflammatory bowel disease and psoriatic arthritis, which could help boost its revenue in the years ahead.

The company called the launches of both new agents “impressive” starts, and the company hopes that the products can help it withstand further erosion of adalimumab. In 2018, Humira accounted for 61% of AbbVie’s revenues. In the first quarter of 2019, Humira sales decreased by 27.9%, and in the second quarter, they dipped another 31%.


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