Humira (Hu-MARE-ah) is a new biologic therapy agent for rheumatoid arthritis.
Specifically, it is a tumor necrosis factor blocking agent...similar to Remicade (infliximab) and Enbrel (etanercept).
Humira, also known generically as adalimumab...a human-derived antibody that binds to tumor necrosis factor (TNF). TNF-blocking agents are very effective for RA...significantly reducing symptoms and slowing the progression of the disease.TNF-blocking agents are usually saved for more severe cases because of their high cost and concerns about long-term safety.
It is indicated for moderate to severe RA that's not controlled by methotrexate or other disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.
One concern about blocking TNF is the increased risk of serious infections and perhaps the increased risk of cancer.
Humira is easier to administer than Enbrel or Remicade. It is given subcutaneously every OTHER week. Enbrel is given subcutaneously TWICE a week. Remicade is given by intravenous infusion every 8 weeks.
Humira will cost about $16,000/yr. Remicade is more expensive depending on the dose.
Abbott is going to be providing Humira free to low-income or Medicare patients who don't have Rx drug benefits. For enrollment, call 866-4-HUMIRA.