AbbVie is proof that it’s about profits, not patients


  • AbbVie, Humira’s manufacturer, kicked off 2020 with a price increase in excess of 7 percent on its mega-blockbuster brand-name treatment.
  • The increase followed total Humira price hikes of 19 percent during 2017 and 2018.
  • The cost of Humira, which is injected via syringe, was more than $72,000 a year on prescription drug websites this week and is not expected to come down until at least 2023.
  • AbbVie won dozens of additional patents — what critics call a “patent thicket” — that extended the exclusive market for the drug.
  • The top six executives at AbbViw make over $56.6 million.

Richard Gonzalez, C.E.O. of AbbVie, told a congressional hearing that his pay was tied to the price of the company’s drug for rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions, Humira. In other words the more money he gets for the drug, the more money he makes.

This is a company that has done everything within its power to hold off competition because their drug is a cash cow. Drugmaker AbbVie is facing a putative class-action lawsuit over its array of patents shielding the blockbuster drug Humira from U.S. competition until 2023. But competitors are “settling” with AbbVie rather then ging through potential long litigation process.

“AbbVie has erected significant barriers to entry to block biosimilar competition,” the complaint said. “Specifically, AbbVie has created and employed an exclusionary ‘patent thicket’ —an unlawful scheme whereby it secured over 100 patents designed solely to insulate Humira from any biosimilar competition in the U.S. for years to come.”

One has to wonder how anyone working for AbbVie can feel good about their company? Do you value your paycheck over patients that much?

Social media is abuzz with AbbVie’s decision to raise prices on a drug that has already seen so many price increases and they are voicing their concerns to politicians. It’s so sad that a CEO who makes over $20 million per year feels the need to raise prices so he can make more money. Sad..