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$38,000 drug Humira continues to get more expensive for patients, lines the pockets of pharma

Remember the story of Turing Pharmaceuticals, the company that spiked the price of the drug Daraprim overnight from $13.50 to $750? The same thing is happening for popular anti-inflammatory drug Humira, as reported by the New York Times.

Humira is an injectable biologic drug, which means it was developed from living cells. It treats conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, colitis and Crohn’s disease. According to research by SSR Health, in 2012 one injectable pen of Humira cost $19,000 per patient after rebates. Since then the price spiked and the same drug costs $38,000. For just one!

In 2012 one injectable pen of Humira cost $19,000 per patient after rebates. Since then the price spiked and the same drug costs $38,000.

Humira is manufactured by pharmaceutical giant, AbbVie. The New York Times determined that two-thirds of AbbVie’s revenue of $25.6 billion comes from Humira. Unfortunately, AbbVie’s aggressive patent strategy and the difficulty in making copies of biologic drugs is pushing off rivals and the hopes for a generic equivalent.

The article tells the story of Anne, a 51-year-old administrative assistant in Houston who takes Humira for colitis and Crohn’s disease. She thought about going on a liquid diet to afford her Humira treatment.

“People are skipping doses, people are rationing, people are going into bankruptcy because of this drug,” Ben Wakana, a former Obama administration spokesman, told the Times. Wakana’s own brother couldn’t afford Humira without the financial support of their parents.

“People are skipping doses, people are rationing, people are going into bankruptcy because of this drug,”

Have you or someone you love had an experience with Humira or another high-priced drug? Share your story.