|WASHINGTON, DC –– On Wednesday, Bill Chase, CFO of the drug giant AbbVie, bragged to investors, “You’ve seen us execute very nicely with our legal strategy and the settlements around the U.S. events to delay the onset of [loss of Humira’s exclusivity] into the 2022-2023 time period,” Axios reported. In response, Patients For Affordable Drugs contacted the Federal Trade Commission expressing our concerns surrounding AbbVie’s practices delaying competition for Humira.
“AbbVie’s anti-competitive behavior is egregious,” David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs, wrote in a letter to the FTC today. “We encourage the FTC’s continued scrutiny of AbbVie’s abusive tactics.”
AbbVie’s Bill Chase was referring to patent schemes and deals for delay that will hold off generic competition for five more years in America. The delays are sending patients into debt and forcing them to go without the anti-inflammatory drug, all while the corporation runs its glut of taxpayer-subsidized TV ads to bring in more than $18 billion a year on Humira.
Cheaper versions of Humira are due out in Europe next month. In response to upcoming competition, AbbVie announced plans to drop the price of Humira by 80 percent in order to steer customers away from potential competitors.
Unfortunately, Americans will be paying higher prices for the next five years because AbbVie is proud of extending its Humira monopoly in the U.S.
A freshly-signed drug pricing law means deals for delay will now require FTC approval. The law change followed Patients For Affordable Drugs’ ongoing campaign to halt AbbVie’s abusive practices on behalf of patients like Stacey Ransom of California, who can barely afford the $38,000-a-year drug.
+++November 1, 2018
Mr. David Mitchell
Patients For Affordable Drugs
Mr. Markus Meier
United States Federal Trade Commission
Bureau of Competition, Health Care Division
Dear Mr. Meier,
As you are considering the actions of AbbVie to delay competition for Humira in the U.S., we hope you will look into the statements to investors by Bill Chase, the corporation’s Chief Financial Officer. Here is the report on his remarks from Axios :
“Bill Chase, chief financial officer of AbbVie, on Wednesday explained the company’s long-term strategy for Humira, the top-selling drug in the world, to Wall Street investors at an industry conference :
‘You’ve seen us execute very nicely with our legal strategy and the settlements around the U.S. events to delay the onset of [loss of Humira’s exclusivity] into the 2022-2023 time period.’
Between the lines : This is a pretty candid moment. Cheaper versions of Humira are hitting European markets next month, and a top AbbVie executive is celebrating two separate deals that would prevent that from happening in the U.S. — where Humira’s annual costs are as much as a high-end car — for five years.”
AbbVie’s anti-competitive behavior is egregious. We encourage the FTC’s continued scrutiny of AbbVie’s abusive tactics.
Thank you on behalf of patients and consumers for your attention to this matter.
Cancer Patient and Founder
Patients For Affordable Drugs