Remicade is one of the cornerstone therapies in the market racking up billions in annual sales. But J&J-Janssen didn’t appreciate the approvals of four biosimilars starting in 2016. Since the Remicade biosims were able to go market (unlike Humira biosims, for example), J&J Janssen pushed restrictive contracts on health insurers and health care providers according to the lawsuit. This would have the effect of edging out the biosims and likely price reductions and margin erosion.
Remicade is priced at about $4,000 per dose or about $26,000 for a full year of treatment. In 2022, Remicade generated sales of $2.3 billion, down from $3.2 billion in 2021. Johnson & Johnson’s successor to Remicade, Stelara, was its top-selling pharmaceutical with sales of $9.7 billion last year, up 7% from $9.1 billion in 2021.
So, J&J-Janssen was ordered to pay $25 million in the settlement. On my budget $25million is a lot of cash….. but for a huge pharma company it is the proverbial equivalent to a mosquito bite on an elephant’s behind. So why bother to cover what is essentially a ‘non-event’? The ruling is precedent…. and precedent in the legal world can be impactful. Any time a pharma company loses in court the market pays attention and is encouraged to pursue relief for other wanna-be drugs struggling with similar restrictive market practices.
Approved Remicade biosimilars:
Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Biotech settle Remicade class action lawsuit after 6 years
Mar 20, 2023 — Johnson & Johnson will pay $25 million to resolve a 6-year-old class action lawsuit that alleged the company and its Horsham-based subsidiary Janssen Biotech violated federal and state antitrust and consumer-protection laws.
The lawsuit, filed in September 2017 by the National Employees Health Plan on behalf of consumers and third-party payors, alleged the companies acted improperly to block competition for their blockbuster drug Remicade. ……………………………