Company: Abbott Laboratories
Total spend Q1, 2012: $29.4 million
Total spend Q1, 2011: none
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Humira is the kind of megablockbuster medication that all Big Pharma companies dream about. The rheumatoid arthritis drug was Abbott Laboratories' ($ABT) top selling drug last year with about $3.4 billion in revenue and is projected to grow into the No. 1 slot among top global earners this year with sales reaching an astounding $9.3 billion. It has started the year with a torrid sales pace. The anti-inflammatory drug delivered $928 million in revenue in the first quarter, up 2.5%, says drugs.com. But it is not all wine and roses. In April, Abbott filed a citizens petition with the FDA in an effort to protect Humira against biosimilars. It says it would be illegal to require Abbott to cough up the trade secrets on Humira that it has spent "massive amounts of money" to develop. Abbott late this year intends to split itself into two companies. AbbVie will get Humira and according to filings, Humira will account for 45% of the new company's sales and perhaps 85% of its profit.