Shares of AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) rose over 1.03% in early trading session on Friday as patients in the United States will be able to purchase cheaper versions of AbbVie Inc.’s (ABBV) blockbuster arthritis drug Humira, though the cost savings are expected to be modest. Amjevita, the first biosimilar version of AbbVie’s 20-year-old drug, was launched on Tuesday by rival drugmaker Amgen Inc, with two pricing tiers. One option is to apply a 5% discount to Humira’s monthly price of $6,922. The other is roughly half the price but may not be widely available.
The majorities of patients’ co-insurance costs are set as a percentage of the list price and are expected to be calculated based on the higher price. At least seven more Humira biosimilars are expected this summer, with discounted list prices. Even so, patient groups, pharmacists, doctors, and academics say the U.S. private insurance system of middlemen negotiation and after-market discounts known as rebates will obscure them.
According to pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), the substantial discounts they receive are returned to insurers and employers in order to reduce overall medical costs. According to Benjamin Rome, a drug pricing researcher at Harvard Medical School, the introduction of biosimilars in the United States has not caused prices to fall as expected.
“The bottom line is that even if prices for Humira and biosimilars fall, it’s possible that this will be in the form of higher rebates to PBMs rather than actual lower prices passed on to patients,” Rome said.
Amgen Inc’s (NASDAQ: AMGN) Records Lower Quarterly Earnings
Amgen Inc’s (NASDAQ: AMGN) fourth-quarter revenues were $6.84 billion, beating the consensus of $6.76 billion, largely unchanged from Q4 2021, and benefited from a 4% increase in product sales, offset by lower COVID-19 manufacturing collaboration revenues.
Product sales growth was driven by 10% volume growth, partially offset by a 3% lower net selling price and a 2% negative impact from foreign exchange. Excluding the 2% negative impact of foreign exchange on product sales, total revenues increased by 2%. The company’s listed “other revenue,” which includes the manufacturing deal, fell to $287 million from $575 million last year.
“The announced acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics, which we expect to complete in the first half of this year, represents a compelling opportunity to serve more patients and strengthen our growth profile,” Amgen Chief Executive Robert Bradway said.
AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) Hopes For Strength
AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) reported on Thursday that the Food and Drug Administration is no longer allowing healthcare providers to prescribe Evusheld, a COVID-19 pre-exposure prophylaxis therapy, citing its lack of efficacy against currently circulating variants.
Astrazeneca investors will be hoping for strength as the company approaches its next earnings release. The company is expected to report earnings per share of $0.71, a 15.48% decrease from the prior-year quarter. Our most recent consensus forecast calls for quarterly revenue of $11.4 billion, a 5.09% decrease from the previous year.
Investors may also notice recent changes in Astrazeneca analyst estimates. These most recent changes tend to reflect the changing nature of short-term business trends. As a result, upward revisions to estimates reflect analyst optimism about the company’s business and profitability.
Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) Reports Better-Than-Feared Revlimid Sales
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) inches up in early trading session on Friday as the firm reported quarterly earnings that exceeded analysts’ expectations on Thursday, thanks to a smaller-than-expected drop in sales of cancer drug Revlimid, which is facing competition from cheaper generic rivals.
According to Refinitiv data, Revlimid sales of $2.26 billion in the fourth quarter surpassed Wall Street estimates of $1.89 billion. Revlimid sales are expected to fall to $6.5 billion in 2023, down from $9.98 billion last year. According to William Blair analysts, the forecast indicates that Revlimid’s “generic erosion” will accelerate.
Bristol Myers has been betting on newer products, such as cancer therapies Opdualag and Abecma, to help offset the decline in Revlimid sales. With the momentum of the new product portfolio, the company expects to roughly double sales of its more recent offerings to about $4 billion in 2023 compared to last year, according to Chief Financial Officer David Elkins during a conference call to discuss the company’s results.