Medicine

AbbVie's next Humira

A manufacturing plant with the blue AbbVie logo on top.
An AbbVie manufacturing facility in Italy. Photo: AbbVie

Humira will control the market for many autoimmune conditions in the U.S. until 2023, and AbbVie executives already have a plan for when cheaper alternatives roll out.

Driving the news: AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez said at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference that two newly approved drugs — Skyrizi and Rinvoq — that treat the same conditions as Humira could hit or surpass $20 billion in combined sales in the future (they generated $153 million in the first nine months of 2019). Gonzalez revealed Skyrizi's net price is "roughly the same as Humira," which is around $40,000 annually.

A care model for the sickest patients doesn't work

Empty beds in a hospital emergency room.
An emergency room is a common site for "superutilizers." Photo: Leonard Ortiz/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Providing close follow-up care from a team of clinical and social workers to the sickest, most vulnerable patients does not reduce hospital readmissions, a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine concludes.

Why it matters: Many doctors and scholars viewed this approach as a promising way to improve care and save money, but it doesn't appear to do either.