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NHS to save £300 million by switching to Humira biosimilars

NHS England has announced that the health service is set to save £300 million by switching to biosimilar versions of AbbVie’s best-selling anti-inflammatory drug Humira (adalimumab), bringing the current annual total spent on the drug down by 75%.

The saving is the biggest saving in NHS history from a single drug negotiation and comes in at twice as much as previous estimates. The organisation said that the savings would be enough to pay for 11,700 more community nurses or 19,800 more breast cancer treatments.

German health minister Jens Spahn calls for faster adoption of biosimilars

Germany’s health minister Jens Spahn has called for faster uptake of biosimilars in an effort to cut the cost of healthcare in Germany.

"Where there is a more affordable alternative at the same quality, we have to use it. Otherwise we won’t be able to sustain the high quality of pharmaceutical supply in Germany,” Spahn said.

Spahn, who has been pointed to as a potential successor to Angela Merkel, called for the faster adoption of the biological copies, after it was revealed that biosimilars would have saved the healthcare system €279 million last year.

AbbVie sue NHS over hepatitis C drug procurement

American pharma firm AbbVie are suing Britain’s NHS after claiming that the health service’s procurement of hepatitis C drugs breached procurement rules.

AbbVie have claimed that the NHS failed in its duty to treat all bidders fairly after it launched the single largest procurement of medicines ever conducted by the NHS in spring of this year.

The procurement which was launched as part of an effort to lower the price of drugs for hepatitis C, saw NHS England offer three year contracts with the option of extension for an additional two years.

NICE issues draft guidance rejecting Abbvie's Venclyxto in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

It’s bad news for patients in the UK affected by chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) as the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has announced its decision not to recommend Abbvie’s Venclyxto (venetoclax) in combination with Genentech’s Rituxan (rituximab) for use on the NHS in the treatment of relapsed or refractory forms of the disease in adults, with the publication of its draft guidance.

NICE’s guidance states that clinical evidence supports the ability of the combo to extend progression-free survival compared to the now-rarely used combo of bendamustine plus

GSK named third best UK workplace

British multinational GlaxoSmithKline has been rated as the third best company to work for in the UK, according to jobs website Indeed’s list of top rated workplaces in the private sector in Britain.

Trailing behind Apple and Wren Kitchens, GSK was ranked third on Indeed’s list of the ‘25 Top-Rated UK Workplaces’.  The company, which employs 16,000 UK employees across 18 different sites, generated£8.6 billion in profits in 2017 from a turnover of £30.2 billion overall.

Top Ten most popular articles on this week

This week’s pharmaceutical headlines were dominated by legal spats as the state of New York sued OxyContin drug maker Purdue Pharma and a Chicago judge overturned a $140 million verdict against AbbVie while Indian biotech owner Nitin Sandesara was detained in Dubai.

Chicago Judge overturns $140 million AbbVie AndroGel verdict

A US Judge has overturned a $140.1 million verdict against the New York-listed AbbVie Inc.

The verdict, which ruled in favour of a man who claimed the biopharmaceutical firm had misrepresented the risks of its testosterone replacement drug AndroGel, was overturned by US District Judge Matthew Kennelly in Chicago on Thursday.

FDA approves first endometriosis pain management drug in a decade

The FDA has confirmed its approval of AbbVie and Neurocrine Biosciences’ Orilissa (elagolix), a nonpeptide small molecule gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptor antagonist, for the management of moderate to severe pain associated with endometriosis.

AbbVie and Mylan reach US marketing agreement for Humira biosimilar

AbbVie and Mylan have announced that they have both signed a licensing agreement for the former’s proposed biosimilar version of the latter’s Humira (adalimumab), a blockbuster with the reputation of the world’s best-selling drug.

As part of the deal, Mylan will be granted a non-exclusive license to market Humira in the US, beginning on 31 July 2023. No payment will be forthcoming from AbbVie, but Mylan will pay royalties to the drugmaker once its biosimilar is launched.

AbbVie and Janssen announce failure of cancer drug Imbruvica in Phase 3 trial

AbbVie and Janssen have announced that Imbruvica (ibrutinib) failed to achieve the primary endpoint in a late-stage study assessing its use in patients with treatment-naïve diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The Phase 3 DBL3001 study found that Imbruvica did not improve event-free survival in previously untreated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients. However, “clinically meaningful improvements” were observed in a patient sub group population.

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