USA — The introduction of BeiGene’s groundbreaking oral leukemia treatment, Brukinsa, has taken a toll on the sales of AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson’s blockbuster drug, Imbruvica.

However, uncertainty looms regarding the potential impact of the Inflation Reduction Act on Imbruvica’s pricing.

In August, Imbruvica found itself among the ten drugs selected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for price negotiations set for 2026.

AbbVie recently revealed a US$2.1 billion impairment charge based on revised cash flow projections for Imbruvica, reducing its carrying value in the United States to US$1.8 billion.

Scott Reents, AbbVie’s chief financial officer, explained that while the company was in the midst of negotiations regarding the assumed negotiated price, it was not appropriate to disclose specific details.

The CMS will provide initial offers to each company on February 1, with negotiations continuing over the subsequent six months. AbbVie will learn the final negotiated price on September 1, 2024.

Imbruvica’s sales reported in the third quarter amounted to US$908 million, reflecting a 20% decrease compared to the same period in 2022.

For the first three quarters of the year, Imbruvica’s sales were US$2.7 billion, marking a 22% decline from the previous year.

In contrast, BeiGene reported significant growth in Brukinsa sales, with a more than twofold increase to US$211 million in its last quarterly report, with US$139 million of those sales in the U.S.

A year ago, BeiGene demonstrated Brukinsa’s superiority over Imbruvica in a head-to-head trial in previously treated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and small lymphotic lymphoma (SLL).

AbbVie’s third-quarter revenue reached US$13.9 billion, reflecting a 6% decrease year over year. While the decline was not as severe as expected, the company increased its revenue forecast for the year by US$600 million.

Since issuing its initial guidance in February, AbbVie has raised the figure by a total of US$2 billion.

AbbVie had anticipated more erosion in sales of its mega-blockbuster drug, Humira, due to biosimilar competition in the U.S. Humira’s sales in the quarter amounted to US$3.55 billion, representing a 36% year-over-year decline.

The decline is primarily due to price cuts rather than volume reductions, and this trend is expected to continue into 2024. The company suggested a “reasonable expectation” of US$7 billion in Humira sales for the next year.

To offset the loss of Humira sales, AbbVie’s immunology follow-on drugs, Skyrizi and Rinvoq, have played a pivotal role.

Both products experienced sales growth of over 50% in the quarter, contributing to combined sales of US$8.1 billion in the first three quarters.

In another significant development, the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended the use of AbbVie’s foslevodopa–foscarbidopa (Produodopa) for the treatment of advanced Parkinson’s disease.

This treatment, delivered via an infusion pump, is approved for use within the UK National Health Service (NHS) and is expected to benefit approximately 900 adult patients by providing continuous and controlled drug delivery to manage their symptoms.

The pump releases foslevodopa and foscarbidopa, enhancing dopamine availability in the brain and offering an alternative to traditional oral treatments and levodopa–carbidopa intestinal gel.

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