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Humira: AbbVie’s Major Revenue Driver in 2018

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Humira’s revenue trends

AbbVie (ABBV) reported global Humira sales worth $5.12 billion in the third quarter, YoY (year-over-year) rises of 9.0% on a reported basis and 9.8% on an operational basis. The company reported Humira sales of $3.55 billion in the US market, a YoY rise of 12.5%. As per the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call, this performance was mainly attributable to the rise in its sales volumes coupled with mid-single-digit price hikes.

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In the first nine months of 2018, Humira reported global sales worth $15.02 billion, a YoY rise of 11.0% on a reported basis and 9.5% on an operational basis. Of these sales, $10.07 billion came from the US market, reflecting a YoY rise of 11.3%. AbbVie expects Humira’s US sales to approach $13.7 billion in 2018.

Growth factors

As per the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call, Humira sales benefited from modest stocking activity after the launch of its novel citrate-free formulation in the third quarter. As per AbbVie’s website, Humira’s citrate-free formulation results in less pain after the injection.

AbbVie has also entered into multiple licensing agreements with companies such as Pfizer (PFE), Amgen (AMGN), Mylan (MYL), Novartis’s (NVS) Sandoz, Momenta Pharmaceuticals (MNTA), Fresenius Kabi, and Samsung Bioepis related to the entry of biosimilar versions of Humira. These agreements have scheduled the launch of these biosimilars for 2023.

As per the company’s third-quarter conference call, it earns two-thirds of Humira’s international market revenue from locked markets—those markets in which the drug still enjoys patent protection. In these markets, the company is aware of Humira’s pricing, as these countries either follow mandated discounting or are tendered markets. The remaining one-third of international markets poses some uncertainty, as Humira’s pricing has yet to be fixed.

In the next article, we’ll discuss Imbruvica’s 2018 growth trends in greater detail.

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