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  • Writer's pictureMichael Amelio

CVS Expands into Affordable Complex Drug Alternatives with New Discounted Humira

Pharmacy giant CVS Health has joined forces with Sandoz, a leading drug manufacturer, to create a nearly identical version of the popular arthritis treatment Humira.

This new alternative will be priced at 80% lower than the brand-name drug. This strategic move is part of CVS's broader initiative to secure and sometimes co-produce biosimilar drugs, which are akin to generic versions of complex biologics.

Prem Shah, CVS Health's EVP and Chief of Pharmacy, emphasized the company's dedication to ensuring a steady supply of this biosimilar drug within the U.S. market. The introduction of the new drug, trademarked as Hyromiz under CVS's subsidiary Cordavis, will address supply concerns and launch at a significantly reduced price compared to the original Humira.

CVS has already established itself as a key player in generic drug sourcing through its joint venture, Red Oak, with Cardinal Health. Now, the company is further strengthening its position in the growing biosimilars market, projected to reach $100 billion over the next six years.

Sandoz, a unit of Novartis, will partner with CVS in this endeavor. The partnership is particularly noteworthy as Sandoz is expected to become an independent publicly traded entity after being spun off from Novartis later this year.

While specific terms of the agreement have not been disclosed, CVS promises that the list price of Cordavis's Hyromiz will be more than 80% lower than Humira's current list price, which is manufactured by Abbvie. The launch of Cordavis's Hyromiz is scheduled for the first quarter of 2024.

This move follows the introduction of Amgen's biosimilar, Amjevita, as the first FDA-approved alternative to Humira, with several more biosimilars, including Hyromiz, expected to enter the market in the coming year.

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