You may or may not be surprised to learn that Lipitor, a prescription medication for lowering bad cholesterol and manufactured by drug giant Pfizer, is the top-selling prescription drug of all time according to recent reports, which indicate the medication has brought in $148.7 billion in sales over the drug’s 21 years since it was approved in 1996.
What other prescription medications are the top sellers? Humira, Seretide, Remicade, Plavix, Enbrel, Rituxan, Herceptin, Avastin, and Nexium round out the top 10.
Remicade, manufactured by Janssen Biotech (formerly Centocor Ortho Biotech) is similar to Humira in that the drug is used to treat Crohn’s disease, plaque psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, and rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis.
Plavix is a blood thinner brought to the market by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi SA, and is designed for patients with coronary artery disease and may help prevent heart attack, stroke, and other heart conditions.
Most people are familiar with most of these drugs, which have brought in billions in sales since approval. For instance, Humira was approved in 2003 and through 2016 had $95.6 billion in sales. Plavix was introduced into the pharmaceutical market in 1997, and has brought in sales of $82.3 billion.
While Lipitor is still a huge seller for Pfizer, the majority of sales are in overseas markets and China since the expiration of its patent in November of 2011.
Many believe that while our new President has vowed to bring down prescription drug prices, it won’t be an easy task, or one that’s tackled during his time in office, considering other obstacles such as trade and tax reform, changes to healthcare, and more.
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