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Humira Fails to Win Danish Adalimumab Tender


Denmark’s national authorities have confirmed to The Center for Biosimilars® that AbbVie's Humira did not offer the lowest price for adalimumab in either of 2 national tenders.

Stakeholders across the biosimilars landscape have been eagerly awaiting the results of European national tenders for adalimumab following the October launches of multiple biosimilars. Now, Denmark has revealed that AbbVie, maker of the reference adalimumab, Humira, did not win the highest ranking in either 2 national tenders for adalimumab.

Amgros, the Danish national tendering authority that serves as a procurement services for the 5 regional authorities of Denmark, said in an email to The Center for Biosimilars® that it has conducted 2 tenders for adalimumab. The first tender covers a brief period (January 2019 to March 2019), while the second covers a more extensive period (April 2019 to December 2019, with options to extend the arrangement).

According to a spokesperson for Amgros, “In both tenders for adalimumab 40 mg, we have entered into agreements with 5 companies—the agreements are ranked according to price. In both tenders, we have signed an agreement with AbbVie for Humira—but Humira does not have the lowest price (ie, is not the winner with the highest ranking).”

Amgros added that the full rankings of companies—and the prices of each of the adalimumab products—will be disclosed publicly on January 1 and April 1, the respective dates on which the 2 tenders’ signed agreements become effective.

Denmark’s tender is likely to have ripple effects throughout other nations in Europe; many European countries use reference pricing systems that rely on pricing in countries like Denmark as a benchmark. For example, in Iceland, the price of a biosimilar cannot be higher than the lowest wholesale price among Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Likewise, in Bulgaria, a biosimilar’s price cannot exceed the price in 17 nations, including Denmark.

Denmark is so often relied upon for reference pricing because of its strong track record in reducing cost burdens on its healthcare system through the use of biosimilars. Furthermore, its coordinated approach to biosimilar adoption has allowed for smooth transitions to these lower-cost agents.

During the fifth DIA Biosimilars Conference, held October 22 to 23, 2018, in London, United Kingdom, Amgros’ Dorthe Bartels, MSc, explained that, when biosimilar infliximab became available in 2015, educational efforts and clinical guidelines including biosimilar options were established prior to CT-P13’s launch. As a result of increased awareness of and comfort with biosimilars among stakeholders, Denmark was able to achieve nearly 100% uptake of biosimilar infliximab within 3 months of its availability.

Bartles also explained that Amgros is well prepared to bring biosimilar adalimumab to its hospitals, having learned valuable lessons from its roll-outs of biosimilar infliximab and filgrastim in its system.

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