AbbVie’s wall of patents protecting its top-selling drug Humira will keep another would-be competitor from entering the U.S. market until next year, with the pharmaceutical company announcing Tuesday a settlement with the Iceland-based Alvotech. Sales of Humira earned AbbVie $20.7 billion last year, the highest total for any pharmaceutical product and they will do anything to keep that money.
- 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 executives at AbbVie make over $300 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.
AbbVie significantly inflated prices over the past two decades for patients in the U.S. who take the drugs Humira and Imbruvica, a report released Tuesday by the House Oversight and Reform Committee found. The committee concluded that the price increases led to billions of dollars in corporate revenue and hefty bonuses for company executives.
AbbVie has filed for 165 patents on Imbruvica, and officials have granted 88 of them, the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge reports. The company’s add-on patents have earned AbbVie another nine years of patent protection for a total of 29 years of commercial exclusivity, according to the group. AbbVie filed 55% of Imbruvica’s patent applications after FDA approval, the report said”.
So how do people who work for AbbVie feel? They can rationalize that their drugs help patients and that they are removed from the “business end” of the business but the fact remains that they are raping our healthcare system and costing every taxpayer.