July 20, 2012 — The online clinical drug resource Drugs.com released first quarter 2012 U.S. prescription sales data for the top 100 drugs. Blood thinners, proton-pump inhibitors, antipsychotics and asthma therapeutic categories continue to remain top sellers.
Bristol-Myers Squibb's Plavix led the way with more than $1.6 billion in sales in the first quarter of 2012. However, the recent launch of clopidogrel (the generic version of Plavix) may alter these figures in upcoming quarters. Proton-pump inhibitor Nexium saw a small decline, while sales for Abilify and Singulair both exceeded $1 billion. The generic version of Singulair (montelukast) is slated for market entry in the third quarter of 2012.
"The most recent sales data from the first quarter of 2012 highlights the continued stronghold of several branded medications," said Philip Thornton, CEO of Drugs.com. "However, with generic versions of Plavix and Lipitor now available and with a number of established brands moving to first-time generic status in the coming years, lower-cost medications will enable patients to have greater access to lifesaving treatments and save billions in healthcare dollars."
Atorvastatin and its branded version Lipitor claim both the top gain and loss, respectively, in the first quarter. Atorvastatin made the biggest gain, bringing total sales in Q1 2012 to $952 million. As a comparison, Lipitor sales reached $1.9 billion in each of the first three quarters of 2011. Synagis, MedImmune's monoclonal antibody used for prevention of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in infants and young children, gained 38 percent.
Pfizer's cholesterol-lowering statin Lipitor lost patent protection in 2011 and sales of the brand dropped to 14th position. Eli Lilly's Zyprexa drops 43 places to 84th and closes the quarter with $194 million. Sales of Forest Laboratories' antidepressant Lexapro also declined due to the availability of its generic counterpart, escitalopram.
For more information: www.drugs.com/stats/top100/sales