Juliana M. Reed, executive director of the Biosimilars Forum, released the following statement after Amjevita, the first Humira biosimilar, was launched in the United States. Humira, which can cost upward of $84,000 annually, is the world’s best-selling drug and has faced no U.S. competition amidst a 470% price increase since first introduced.
“This is a watershed year for biosimilars in the United States. This year, at least seven FDA-approved Humira biosimilars will launch and have the opportunity to create a more competitive market, which can drastically reduce prescription drug costs.
“The cost-savings of biosimilars can only be realized if all biosimilars — especially biosimilars for Humira — are fully available and accessible to the patients who need them. Biosimilars have the potential to save billions of dollars in U.S. health care spending, if — and only if — they have equitable access to formularies, allowing free-market competition to lower prescription drug costs.
“The Biosimilars Forum calls on the Biden Administration, Congress, and federal regulators to ensure that Humira biosimilars are available to all Medicare patients. Medicare could have saved an estimated $2.19B on Humira over four years had biosimilar competition been available.
“Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) must prioritize patients over profits and place Humira biosimilars on all commercial formularies. This includes midyear formulary access, meaning that all biosimilars become immediately available once launched.
“This make-it-or-break-it year for the biosimilars industry requires the full support of policymakers and stakeholders to give patients lower-cost options they deserve. I look forward to working with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to get this moment right and deliver long overdue, lower-cost options for the world’s best-selling drug.”
For more information on the Biosimilars Forum’s work to increase access to lower-cost biosimilars, visit biosimilarsforum.org.