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Why Humira Revenues in International Markets Are Expected to Fall

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Performance in fiscal 2018

In the fourth quarter of 2018, AbbVie (ABBV) reported Humira’s global sales of $4.92 billion, which is a YoY rise of 0.5% on a reported basis and 1.4% on an operational basis. According to AbbVie’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, Humira’s sales came in at $3.62 billion from the US market, a YoY rise of 9.1%, mainly attributable to high-single-digit growth in sales volumes as well as price. The company has also reported wholesaler inventory of less than 15 days for Humira in the fourth quarter of 2018.

According to AbbVie’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, the increasing competition from biosimilars pulled down Humira’s international market revenues to $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, a YoY decline of 14.8% on an operational basis and 17.5% on a reported basis.

According to AbbVie’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, Humira is expected to report US market sales of $3.2 billion and ex-US sales of $1.2 billion in the first quarter of 2019.

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Projections for fiscal 2019

In fiscal 2018, Humira reported global sales of $19.94 billion, a YoY rise of 7.4% on an operational basis and 8.2% on a reported basis. The drug has reported US market sales of $13.69 billion, a YoY rise of 10.7%. Humira reported international market sales of $6.25 billion, a YoY rise of 0.6% on an operational basis and 3.1% on a reported basis.

According to the company’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, AbbVie expects Humira to report 7% YoY growth in sales in the US market in fiscal 2019. However, the company expects Humira’s international market sales to drop YoY by 30% in fiscal 2019 due to increasing biosimilar competition.

AbbVie currently faces direct biosimilar competition for Humira in Europe as well as several other international markets. These markets are estimated to account for almost 75% of the drug’s international market revenues or 25% of the drug’s total revenues. According to the company’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, AbbVie is anticipating $2.0 billion worth of revenue erosion for Humira in fiscal 2019, attributable to increasing biosimilar competition in international markets.

In the next article, we’ll discuss the performance of AbbVie’s hemato-oncology portfolio in fiscal 2018.

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