Evernorth's Accredo to offer Humira biosimilar at $0 out-of-pocket

Evernorth's Accredo arm will make a Humira biosimilar available to patients with no out-of-pocket costs, the company announced Thursday.

Accredo is the specialty pharmacy segment within Evernorth Health Services, which also houses Express Scripts, eviCore data analytics and MDLIVE telehealth services. Beginning this June, the low- and high-concentration biosimilar will be produced for Evernorth's private label distributor, Quallent Pharmaceuticals, in partnership with multiple manufacturers.

Evernorth is a subsidiary of The Cigna Group.

Most patients will be able to secure the biosimilar products for $0 out-of-pocket through the copay assistance programs offered at Quallent beginning in June, Evernorth said.

Matt Perlberg, president of Evernorth Health Services’ pharmacy and care delivery businesses, told Fierce Healthcare in an interview that biosimilars overall have significant promise to reduce costs for patients.

"We've long been champions of generic biosimilars to help make medicine more affordable for patients," Perlberg said. "We think this is a great way to do that."

Humira in particular has been something of a golden goose for this shift, with pharmacy experts seeing massive potential for cost savings in embracing biosimilar products. The Accredo team estimates that the new program could save individual members an average of $3,500 each year.

The biosimilar price is about 85% lower than that of branded Humira, according to the announcement. More than 100,000 Accredo patients use either Humira or one of its biosimilars, the company said.

The specialty pharmacy provides patients with a Therapeutic Resource Center, where they can connect to specialty-trained pharmacists and nurses who are available around the clock. Accredo's centers cover 15 specific conditions.

Multiple PBMs, including Accredo's sister company Express Scripts, have taken steps to increase access to Humira biosimilars since the product launched in January 2023.