USA — CVS Health’s latest strategic move has taken the pharmaceutical industry by storm, as the company introduces its newly-formed subsidiary, Cordavis, to collaborate directly with drug manufacturers for the co-production and distribution of biosimilar drug products within the United States.

The subsidiary’s inaugural offering, Hyrimoz, promises significant cost savings while addressing supply shortages of biosimilars, potentially reshaping the market and improving health outcomes for consumers.

In a groundbreaking announcement, CVS Health has unveiled Cordavis, a wholly-owned subsidiary aimed at revolutionizing the biosimilar drug landscape.

This innovative venture is set to collaborate with drugmakers, effectively co-producing and bringing biosimilar drug products to the market, signifying a pivotal evolution in CVS’s strategy.

Cordavis’s debut product, Hyrimoz, emerges as a game-changer. Developed by Novartis’ Sandoz unit, Hyrimoz presents a generic version of AbbVie’s Humira (adalimumab), a widely used medication.

Notably, Hyrimoz carries an astonishing 80% lower price tag than the original Humira, which typically costs US$6,922 per month.

Shawn Guertin, CVS’s Chief Financial Officer, emphasized the strategic importance of Cordavis, highlighting its potential to bolster the biosimilar market in the United States and subsequently enhance both healthcare outcomes and affordability for consumers.

The Cordavis vision

While the financial terms of the Hyrimoz agreement remain undisclosed, CVS has ambitious plans to introduce the product to the market under the Cordavis private label in the first quarter of 2024.

Hyrimoz, an FDA-approved biosimilar since 2018, recently obtained clearance for a high-concentration formulation in March.

Interestingly, the launch of Sandoz’s Hyrimoz, along with various other Humira biosimilars, was delayed until this year, following the expiration of AbbVie’s long-standing Humira monopoly in January due to the introduction of Amgen’s biosimilar Amjevita (adalimumab-atto).

Prem Shah, CVS’s Chief of Pharmacy, elaborated on Cordavis’s strategic positioning, explaining that the company has made substantial investments in securing a reliable supply of Hyrimoz for the US market.

The objective is to ensure a consistent and high-quality biosimilar product, accessible at a considerably lower price compared to the originator molecule.

CVS Health’s strategy to navigate pharma landscape

Amidst these transformative developments, CVS Health also faces challenges in the competitive pharmaceutical landscape.

Recent news of Blue Shield of California’s decision to shift its pharmacy benefits management from CVS to Amazon Pharmacy and other entities to cut drug costs has impacted CVS’s stock value.

Despite the market’s response, some analysts express skepticism about the practicality of Blue Shield’s approach, underscoring CVS’s continued presence as a significant player.

On a parallel note, Novartis’ Sandoz unit is gearing up for its upcoming spin-off as an independent publicly traded entity in early October, representing another significant shift in the pharmaceutical sector.

With Cordavis’s strategic entry into the biosimilar landscape and CVS’s relentless pursuit of innovative solutions, the pharmaceutical industry is witnessing a paradigm shift.

As Hyrimoz prepares to make its debut, CVS Health aims to redefine the accessibility and affordability of crucial medications, marking a potential turning point in the healthcare market.

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