Humira, a Major Drug Company’s Powerful Profit-Maker

Humira, a drug used to reduce swelling and pain in those with arthritis and Crohn’s disease, has found a massive surge in demand.

A chart showing price changes for Humira over time.

Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky

A chart showing price changes for Humira over time.

Jacob Snow, Columnist

The drug Humira has been in advertisements all over, whether you’re surfing the internet, watching YouTube, or even just searching up information on your phone. This medicine has become a major success for its company, which goes by the name of AbbVie.

According to the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Humira was invented by the Cambridge University Center for Antibody Technology in association with AbbVie in 2003, where it was then still being tested for its efficacy. As its popularity grew in the following years, so did the success of the company; Humira has become the leading source of income for AbbVie.

While they are responsible for manufacturing many other drugs, the most notable is the Humira pen. This invention was used to help people around the world who experience pain from Crohn’s disease and arthritis. Another factor that contributed to the drugs’ success was probably its multiple uses, as it could be used as a painkiller for a lot of other diseases, too.

However, according to the New York Times, its extremely high price also speaks for itself; the long-term investment that comes with a prescription for this medicine has caused many people to find other alternatives. At $80,000 a year at peak, only some of the richer middle-class families can actually fit it into their yearly budget. Prices for the product fluctuate as supply and demand do.

Overall, as the business continues to manufacture these pens as well as raise and lower prices, it is still being questioned on whether it is worth it. Its only purpose is to provide temporary pain resistance and doesn’t offer long-term solutions. This means that even if the price were lowered substantially, it would still be an uncertain investment. Deciding whether it’s a blessing to society or not is up to the individuals who use it.