Those feisty pharmaceutical industry insiders at Fierce Pharma have released their annual list of bestselling prescription drugs. The five drugs that accounted for the most frequently dispensed prescriptions include four generic drugs and just one brand name product–and that brand saw prescriptions drop. Here’s the list, with the number of ‘scrips’ written in 2008 and the previous year for comparison’s sake:
- 1. Hydrocodone with acetaminophen, generic painkiller, 124 million scrips in 2008, up from 119 million in 2007.
- 2. Lisinopril, generic blood pressure medication, 75.5 million, up from 70.5 million in 2007
- 3. Simvastatin, generic cholesterol remedy, 66.7 million, up from 47.7 million in 2007
- 4. Levothyroxine sodium, generic thyroid hormone, 61.4 million, up from 55 million in 2007
- 5. Lipitor, Pfizer’s branded cholesterol medication, 57.9 million, down from 65.1 million in 2007
Now for the dollar figures. As you might guess, all of the top-dollar meds are brand-name drugs, simply because branded meds are so much more expensive to purchase. Here are the top five, listed with their manufacturer, purpose and previous year’s sales:
- Lipitor, Pfizer, cholesterol: $7.8 billion, down from $8.1 billion in 2007
- Nexium, AstraZeneca, heartburn/gastric reflux: $5.9 billion, up from $5.5 billion in 2007
- Plavix, Bristol-Myers Squibb, blood thinner: $4.9 billion, up from $3.9 billion in 2007
- Advair Diskus, GlaxoSmithKline, asthma/COPD: $4.4 billion, up from $4.3 billion in 2007
- Seroquel, AstraZeneca, atypical antipsychotic: $3.9 billion, up from $3.5 billion in 2007
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