Top branded biologic drugs in the U.S. that will go generic by 2028

AbbVie, the company that manufactures Humira, generated 8.5 billion U.S. dollars from sales of the drug in 2015. AbbVie lost the initial patent to the drug a year later, and the impact of this, and all other expiring patents during 2016, led to the value of the pharmaceutical market in the United States falling by an estimated 22 billion U.S. dollars.

Patents are a virtue

Expiring patents on drugs can make a big difference to company revenues because generic versions may soon enter the market at a lower price. In recent years, the biggest name to lose its initial patent is Humira, but the impact of the patent loss has not been felt: sales revenue had increased to approximately 18 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. Very few generic versions of the drug have entered the market, and one reason for this is that AbbVie has been granted more patents relating to the processes and active ingredients of the drug. Competitors are deterred from creating generic versions because they run the risk of violating one of these new patents.

Humira: AbbVie’s formula for success

Humira, which is used to reduce the signs and symptoms of arthritis in adults, was the best-selling pharmaceutical product worldwide in 2018 – sales of the drug accounted for a 60 percent share of AbbVie’s total revenue during the year. Protected by its portfolio of patents, the drug has a market monopoly, and AbbVie can charge a high price as a result. This is especially true in the United States, where the average sales price is far higher than in other countries.

Selected top branded biologic drugs in the United States that will go generic between 2016 and 2028, by revenue (in billion U.S. dollars)*

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Release date



United States

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* For all of these drugs, the existing patent will expire by 2028, which allows generic versions to then be made thereafter. The statistic is based on U.S. revenue only.
Revenue figures are the moving annual total (MAT) for June 2015.

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