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New Humira Biosimilars for RA Treatment in 2023

Last updated: September 2023

Humira® (adalimumab) is a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune diseases. Humira is created using live cells to make a specific antibody. This antibody targets a specific protein that is the main cause of the inflammation caused by RA.4

Drugs like Humira that are made from living cells are called biologics. These drugs may use cells from humans, animals, or bacteria to create treatments. This is different from traditional drugs that are made from chemicals in a lab.1,2

Just like traditional drugs have generic versions which perform a similar function, biologics have biosimilars. Biosimilars are generic versions of a biologic drug with a similar function.1,2

Humira alternatives

The first Humira biosimilar was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016. Since then, many more Humira biosimilars have received FDA approval. These biosimilars were not available in the United States until 2023.1,3

The reason is that Humira had a patent protection, which stopped other companies from selling a drug similar to Humira. This patent protection ended in 2023, which has allowed other companies to start selling Humira biosimilars in the United States.1,3

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Differences in Humira biosimilars

All of the Humira biosimilars are approved to treat RA in adults. But there are some differences between the biosimilars.2

Humira is available in low and high concentrations. A high-concentration form requires a smaller amount of liquid to give the same dosage. Not all biosimilars are available in high-concentration forms.2

The biosimilars may be available as a prefilled pen, syringe, or autoinjector. The dosage can range from 10 mg to 80 mg. Some of the Humira biosimilars contain citrate, and some do not. Citrate-free injections are less painful.2

So far, only 1 biosimilar has been approved to be interchangeable with Humira. Interchangeable biosimilars go through additional testing to show that they are compatible with the original and can be switched without any issue. Depending on the US state, a pharmacist can switch Humira to this interchangeable biosimilar without your healthcare provider’s approval. More biosimilars are awaiting approval to be interchangeable with Humira.2

Currently available Humira biosimilars

There are currently 9 Humira biosimilars available in the United States. Amjevita® launched in the United States in January 2023.2,4

Eight other biosimilars became available in the United States in July 2023, including:2,4

  • Amjevita® – Received FDA approval in 2016; low concentration and citrate-free
  • Cyltezo® – Received FDA approval in 2017; low concentration and citrate-free; interchangeable with Humira
  • Hyrimoz® – Received FDA approval in 2018; available in low and high concentrations; only high-concentration version is citrate-free
  • Hadlima® – Received FDA approval in 2019; available in low and high concentrations; only high-concentration version is citrate-free
  • Abrilada® – Received FDA approval in 2019; low concentration and citrate-free; if approved, may be interchangeable with Humira
  • Hulio® – Received FDA approval in 2020; low concentration and citrate-free
  • Yusimry® – Received FDA approval in 2021; low concentration and citrate-free
  • Idacio® – Received FDA approval in 2022; low concentration and citrate-free
  • Yuflyma® – Received FDA approval in 2023; high concentration and citrate-free; if approved, may be interchangeable with Humira

Switching from Humira to a biosimilar

If you are thinking about switching to a Humira biosimilar, here are a few things to consider:

  • Dosage and concentration – Not all biosimilars are available in all the dosages and concentrations. If you require a certain dosage or concentration of Humira, there might be limited options available.
  • Insurance coverage – Your insurance plan might offer better coverage for Humira or a Humira biosimilar.

In this case, check with your insurance provider to determine the best option.
Talk to your doctor if you are thinking about switching to a Humira biosimilar. They can discuss your needs and the best option available for you.

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