OptumRx will keep Humira available as competitors hit the market

UnitedHealth Group's OptumRx will keep Humira in its drug formulary, in addition to three biosimilar competitors, Bloomberg reported Nov. 15. 

Humira, manufactured by AbbVie, will face its first biosimilar competitors in the U.S. next year, which will allow pharmaceutical benefit managers to pit suppliers against each other for the best price. 

Heather Cianfrocco, CEO of OptumRx, said at the HLTH conference that the group will keep Humira and the competing treatments available for patients, Bloomberg reported. 

OptumRx is the first PBM to explain its plans for the drug and its competitors. 

Investors are expecting steep declines in Humira's sales next year as it faces competing drugs. The drug, first introduced in 2003, treats rheumatoid arthritis and several other conditions. 

The immunosuppressive drug can be expensive. According to a report from the House of Representatives' Committee on Oversight and Reform, in 2021, Humira cost $77,000 a year, almost five times higher than when the drug was first introduced on the market.

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