Cigna, Express Scripts to Provide Humira Biosimilars as Preferred Products


Cigna and Express Scripts have not yet made a decision about which of the Humira biosimilars will be included but they will evaluate all products in the coming months.

Express Scripts and Cigna Pharmacy will add biosimilars as preferred products on its commercial formularies at the same position as AbbVie’s rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira (adalimumab) beginning in 2023.

“By placing biosimilars on our formularies in the same position as Humira, we’re also ensuring that physicians and patients have choice and flexibility as they assess these additional biosimilar therapies,” Katy Wong, chief pharmacy officer, Cigna Pharmacy, said in a press release.

A spokesperson indicated that the companies have not yet decide which of the seven Humira biosimilars will be available. In the coming months, Express Scripts and Cigna will continue to evaluate all biosimilar products to Humira for placement on its largest formularies and will provide updates related to specific changes as available.

Next year, seven biosimilars are expected to be launched, with Amgen’s Amjevita being the first in January. The others expected to launch in the second half of the year include: Organon's Hadlima, Boehringer Ingelheim’s Cyltezo, Coherus BioSciences’ Yusimry, Viatris’ Hulio, Sandoz’ Hyrimoz, and Pfizer’s Abrilada.

Humira is a widely prescribed drug in the United States, with sales of more than $20 billion in 2021. Specialty drug costs, including Humira, represent 2% of prescriptions, yet account for 50% of drug cost spend with continued growth anticipated and are projected to reach $505 billion by 2023. Potential savings related to biosimilars could exceed $100 billion over the next five years.

Express Scripts has long advocated for the adoption of biosimilars. Last year, Express Scripts added Viatris’ Semglee (insulin glargine-yfgn), the first FDA-approved interchangeable biosimilar basal insulin, to its National Preferred Formulary beginning in 2022. The company estimates more than $20 million savings for plan sponsors in one year.

(Editors’ note: Biocon Biologics has acquired the biosimilar business of Viatris, which includes the adalimumab and insulin glargine biosimilars, as well as other products in Viatris’ portfolio.)

Related: OptumRx to Cover Amgen’s Biosimilar of Humira

Express Scripts/Cigna Pharmacy is the second PBM to announce coverage of the Humira biosimilars. Recently, OptumRx announced plans to include on its formularies Amjevita and two additional biosimilars on the Select and Premium formularies.

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