The Top Ten Prescription Drugs In America

Health care research firm IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics has released its annual Top Ten list of prescription drugs:
Vicodin5mg

  1. Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen)
  2. Zocor (simvastatin)
  3. Lisinopril
  4. Synthoid (levothyroxine sodium)
  5. Norvasc (amlodipine besylate)
  6. Prilosec (omeprazole)
  7. Zithromax (azithromycin)
  8. Amoxicillin
  9. Metformin (Glucophage)
  10. Hydrochlorothiazide

The list above is clearly dominated by generic drugs, which are shown to quickly overtake sales of the far more expensive brand name drugs. Classified by the amount spent on prescription drugs, the list looks very different:

1.  Lipitor®
2.  Nexium®
3.  Plavix®
4.  Advair Diskus®
5.  Abilify®
6.  Seroquel®
7.  Singulair®
8.  Crestor®
9.  Actos®
10.  Epogen®

Matthew Herper offers some interesting analysis at Forbes:

The biggest surprise, to me, is in the second-place spot: Nexium, the purple pill from AstraZeneca, which generated $6.3 billion in sales, according to IMS. (Caveat: IMS’ methodology, which multiplies price by the number of prescriptions, can overestimate sales because it does not include the substantial rebates drug companies pay to insurers and Medicaid.)

Nexium has long been the poster child for me-too medicines. It is chemically similar to Prilosec, AstraZeneca’s older ulcer drug, and there are other cheap generics in the same class. You’d think that if any medicine were ripe for price competition, it would be Nexium. Yet it remains a big seller. (See this piece from my colleague David Whelan for an explanation of why.)

There’s a lot of other interesting stuff going on in these numbers. Abilify, from Otsuka and Bristol-Myers Squibb, passed Seroquel from Astra as the top-selling antipsychotic drug for disease like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. It’s long been touted as having a better profile than its competitors when it comes to weight gain; click here to see what I said about it in 2002…

[continues at Forbes]

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  • 5by5

    Which explains the shocked look on my new doctor’s face when she asked “What medication are you on?” and I said, “None.”

    She actually asked me again, “Nothing?” And I’m like, “Well, occasionally I might take an aspirin if I get a headache, but otherwise, no, nothing.”

    [Scribbles wildly on you clipboard with a stunned look] “Huh. You’re the first to say that.”

  • 5by5

    Which explains the shocked look on my new doctor’s face when she asked “What medication are you on?” and I said, “None.”

    She actually asked me again, “Nothing?” And I’m like, “Well, occasionally I might take an aspirin if I get a headache, but otherwise, no, nothing.”

    [Scribbles wildly on you clipboard with a stunned look] “Huh. You’re the first to say that.”

  • 5by5

    Which explains the shocked look on my new doctor’s face when she asked “What medication are you on?” and I said, “None.”

    She actually asked me again, “Nothing?” And I’m like, “Well, occasionally I might take an aspirin if I get a headache, but otherwise, no, nothing.”

    [Scribbles wildly on you clipboard with a stunned look] “Huh. You’re the first to say that.”

  • Ironaddict06

    If the FDA would get out of the way, Oxycotin would take first place.

  • Ironaddict06

    If the FDA would get out of the way, Oxycotin would take first place.

  • Drugs

    Thanks a lot Sharing the top ten Generic Drugs information