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Americans Spending Billions on Billions of Drug Prescriptions

Thu, 07 Aug 2014 09:29:02 +0000

iStock/Thinkstock(DANBURY, Conn.) -- Do the names Synthroid and Abilify ring a bell? According to the research firm IMS health, they happen to be the nation’s top-prescribed drug and top-selling prescription drug, respectively.

Synthroid, which is used to treat an underactive thyroid, averages 22.6 million prescriptions per month. Abilify, which is used to treat schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder I, and depression, had $7.2 billion in sales in the past year.

IMS Health notes nothing much has changed with the top 10 lists of drugs in each category among the top 100 prescribed drugs in the U.S. from June 2013 to June 2014.

Here are the top 10 drugs, per monthly prescriptions, and what they’re used to treat:

  1. Synthroid, 22.6 million (Treats underactive thyroid)
  2. Crestor, 22.5 million (Treats high cholesterol)
  3. Nexium, 18.6 million (Treats heartburn)
  4. Ventolin HFA, 17.5 million (Treats asthma, chronic bronchitis)
  5. Advair Diskus, 15.0 million (Treats asthma)
  6. Diovan, 11.4 million (Treats hypertension)
  7. Lantus Solostar, 10.1 million (Treats diabetes)
  8. Cymbalta, 10.0 million (Treats major depressive disorder, general anxiety and fibromyalgia)
  9. Vyvanse, 10.0 million (Treats ADHD)
  10. Lyrica, 9.6 million (Treats epilepsy, shingles)

Here are the top 10 by sales for the year and what they’re used to treat:

  1. Abilify, $7.2 billion (Treats schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder I, and depression)
  2. Humira, $6.3 billion (Treats arthritis)
  3. Nexium, $6.3 billion (Treats heartburn)
  4. Crestor, $5.6 billion (Treats high cholesterol)
  5. Enbrel, $5.0 billion (Treats rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis)
  6. Advair Diskus, $5.0 billion (Treats asthma)
  7. Sovaldi, $4.4 billion (Treats hepatitis C)
  8. Remicade, $4.3 billion (Treats rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis)
  9. Lantus Solostar, $3.8 billion (Treats diabetes)
  10. Neulasta, $3.6 billion (Treats low white blood cell count)


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