Makers of Humira, Enbrel nix generics for now

The makers of two key drugs to reduce rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and other autoimmune disease have submitted new patents that could keep their drugs proprietary and off the generic list for a while.

The competing makers of Humira (manufactured by AbbVie) and Enbrel (manufactured by Amgen), two medications that treat autoimmune diseases like arthritis, both have medication patents expiring soon. But both companies recently filed new patents that could keep the drugs in proprietary brand status for years, preventing anyone from marketing a generic or similar version.

The move is being viewed as a reaction to the FDA decision earlier this month to recommend the approval of nearly similar drugs, notes the New York Times. The decision to block generic versions could leave the two companies battling in competition: The two drugs are among the most-prescribed drugs globally, especially amid the emergence of Johnson & Johnson’s competing anti-inflammatory drug Remicade.

Meanwhile, many other companies are applying to tout their biosimilar drugs to compete with Amgen and AbbVie. The FDA is expected to make a decision on Humira and Enbrel biosimilars later this year.

Topics: Clinical