Big Molecule Watch
November 3, 2022

AbbVie’s Q322 Earnings Call Highlights Oncoming Adalimumab Biosimilar Competition

Last week, AbbVie held its third quarter 2022 earnings conference call, which included considerable discussion of forthcoming competition with biosimilars to HUMIRA (adalimumab) in 2023.  Some highlights below:

  • According to Rick Gonzalez, AbbVie Chairman and CEO, “[t]he current market dynamics do not change our long-term guidance for aesthetics and we remain confident in our ability to achieve total sales of more than $9 billion in 2029. . . . With regards to the status of contracting for Humira, our intent has always been to maintain broad formulary access so that we can compete effectively with forthcoming biosimilars. We are making very good progress consistent with this objective, and are currently projecting formulary access for at least 80% of all U.S. covered lives. We expect this percentage to increase further as we conclude additional contract discussions between now and the end of the year. As a result, we anticipate strong access for U.S. Humira throughout 2023, and project biosimilars will share access as they become available.”
  • Mr. Gonzalez had previously stated that U.S. Humira erosion was expected to be 45% plus or minus 10%. On the Q322 earnings call, Mr. Gonzales stated that “if we talk about the 45%, plus or minus 10%, that is the range that we gave. We’re obviously working on doing the final forecasting for 2023. As we’ve said in the past, there are two major components, which will play into that forecast. One is how are the biosimilars priced, that will certainly have some impact. We won’t know that until we actually get into the market and start to see some of that activity. But the other big component is obviously our coverage, our access coverage for Humira and the position that Humira has on those formularies.”
  • Jeff Steward, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Office, stated that “[g]lobal Humira sales were approximately $5.6 billion, up 3.9% on an operational basis with 7.4% growth in the U.S., partially offset by international performance where revenues were down 16.8% operationally due to biosimilar competition.”
  • Mr. Steward also discussed AbbVie’s modeling in projecting 80% formulary access: “Obviously, there’s a couple components to that. . . . We’ve done some significant modeling work to understand if we’re retaining the ability to stay on the formulary. We would model our volume like how much would we retain versus would go to one or more biosimilars. That’s something that we can understand. And we have made base case, both first half and second half pricing assumptions based on those contracts. Now what’s been highlighted in the last couple of questions is there’s still uncertainty on the rest of the contracts that are yet to been secured and also a bid on that second half price dynamic.”


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