Prime Therapeutics will add Humira biosimilars in the same position in its formulary as the original drug, joining other pharmaceutical benefit managers in announcing similar policies.
In a Dec. 16 news release, the PBM, owned by 19 Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, said the new biosimilars have the potential to generate significant cost savings.
"Our strategy allows for provider and patient choices and minimizes disruption of therapy for members in treatment for complex diseases," Dave Schlett, Prime Therapeutics' president of PBM solutions, said in the news release.
"In short, biosimilars and their originators can co-exist and generate competition while ensuring optimal outcomes for members," Mr. Schlett added.
Humira, manufactured by AbbVie, will face its first biosimilar competitors in the U.S. in 2023. The drug, used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, can be expensive.
According to a report from the House of Representatives' Committee on Oversight and Reform, in 2021, Humira cost $77,000 per patient a year, almost five times higher than when the drug was first introduced on the market in 2003.
In November, OptumRx laid out a similar policy to Prime Therapeutics, adding the new biosimilars in the same position as Humira. Cigna also said it will keep Humira and biosimilars in its formulary.