Biologic drugs are expensive therapeutic agents and represent a large and growing segment of pharmaceutical spending. In particular, at nearly $20 billion in sales in 2018, adalimumab (Humira) dominates the worldwide biologic market, with more than twice the annual sales of the second-highest selling drug, lenalidomide (Revlimid).1
Biosimilars have long been viewed as a solution to the high price of injectable biologic drugs like adalimumab. There are now 23 approved biosimilars in the United States with hundreds more likely under development, and the assumption is that a robust biosimilar market, once established, will substantially lower the price of biologic drugs and, consequently, spending. This appears to be happening in Europe, where biosimilar adalimumab products have led to discounts of 80% off the price of brand-name Humira.1
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Gellad WF, Good CB. Adalimumab and the Challenges for Biosimilars. JAMA. 2019;322(22):2171–2172. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.16275
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