As of January 1, your Lupron will come from a new company

Over the next few months, many patients who are being treated with Lupron Depot (leuprolide acetate) for various stages of prostate cancer may discover to their surprise that the product that used to come from TAP Pharmaceuticals and then from Abbott Laboratories is now being distributed by a company called AbbVie.

AbbVie is a new company that has been spun out as an independent, specialized, global pharmaceutical company from Abbott Laboratories, so there has been no change to the manufacturing or the distribution processes for Lupron Depot during this transition. The decision to spin off AbbVie as a separate pharmaceutical company was purely financial, and AbbVie’s new CEO and most of its staff are exactly the same people who were overseeing the pharmaceutical division of Abbott Laboratories before the Holiday season.

The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink has every confidence that patients who need Lupron will get exactly the same product from AbbVie as they have been getting in the past from TAP Pahrmaceuticals and then Abbott Laboratories. If your doctor switches you to a different brand of leuprolide acetate, such as Eligard (made by Sanofi), you may want to ask him or her why that change is being recommended.

2 Responses

  1. Mike,

    I imagine that formulary lists provided by insurance companies may be affected. So I would not be surprised that some carriers will be a bit stubborn with this change … A quick fix might be needed by providing another LHRH agonist that is already on the formulary lists that already exist … I know that Abbott Laboratories did have pricing contracts with certain carriers.

  2. Tony:

    This transition of Lupron from being a product marketed by Abbott Laboratories to being a product marketed in AbbVie (along with many other formerly Abbott pharmaceuticals) has been in the works for nearly 18 months. I don’t think there will be any formulary implications at all. I am sure that Abbott has had extensive discussions with all the relevant managed care companies to explain that this was simply a change of supplier and not a change of product, and as far as I am aware there is no change in the pricing of the product or the actual distribution systems.

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