In 2020, over 75% of AbbVie’s’ sales were made to American consumers, yet only 1% of AbbVie’s’ income was reported in the United States for tax purposes. AbbVie’s’ ability to exploit subsidiaries in offshore tax havens to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes on U.S. prescription drug sales signals that big pharma will do anything to avoid hurting profits.

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.

SUMMARY: AbbVie continues to profit from Americans by repeatedly raising U.S. prices on its widely-used Humira rheumatoid arthritis drug while cutting the price abroad. AbbVie exploits the U.S. patent system to fend off competitors and increased the price of Humira to $77,000 for a year’s supply, while the price of its cancer drug Imbruvica was raised to $181,529 per year.

SUMMARY: “You’re spending all this money to make sure you make money rather than spending money to… help patients,” the California congresswoman told AbbVie’s, Richard Gonzalez. “. That was pretty brutal, but to was right on target by Rep Katie Porter. While AbbVie is a poster for everything wrong with pharma, what they have done doesn’t apply to ALL pharma companies.


  • 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.