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In hopes of fending off biosimilar competition for its franchise drug, AbbVie (ABBV) has apparently won the bidding to supply its Humira rheumatoid arthritis treatment to an unspecified European market at a steep 80 percent discount, according to a Wall Street analyst.

Biosimilars are nearly identical variants of pricey, brand-name biologic drugs, but are expected to cost less while providing the same result in patients. However, the savings are generally expected to be in the range of 20 percent to 30 percent off the price of a brand-name biologic, which is why the AbbVie discount in Europe generated some notice this week.

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