NHS England has negotiated deals with Amgen, Biogen, Mylan and Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin, and Sandoz, to secure biosimilar versions of AbbVie’s blockbuster monoclonal antibody, Humira (adalimumab), for the UK market. A bid has also been accepted from AbbVie.
Originator biologic Humira is indicated for a number of conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis.
According to the NHS, the agreements will provide up to £300m ($382m) in savings on low cost versions of its most costly drug.
“Harnessing the power of competition between drug companies, NHS England has now freed up hundreds of millions of pounds of savings to reinvest in patient care,” said NHS England chief executive, Simon Stevens, in a statement.
Biosimilar versions of adalimumab are expected to be available to NHS patients next month, with at least 80% of patients currently taking Humira expected to be switched to a ‘best-value’ adalimumab product within 12 months.
EU Humira landscape
Patent protected-Humira secured sales of $4.1bn (€3.5bn) in Europe for the 12 months ending December 31, 2017, according to IQVIA.
However, since AbbVie’s European patent protection expired last month, the firm finds itself competing with a number of biosimilar developers in the adalimumab market.