A new IMS Health report finds that hypothyroid medication was the most prescribed medication in the United States over the past 12 months, but an antipsychotic racked up the most in sales, Megan Brooks reports in Medscape Medical News.
The states where people take the most prescription drugs
For the report, IMS Health researchers analyzed data on prescriptions and drug sales collected from April 2013 to March 2014. According to the report, the most prescribed drugs are:
1. Hypothyroid drug Synthroid, with 23 million prescriptions per month;
2. Cholesterol drug Crestor, with 22.9 million prescriptions;
3. Heartburn drug Nexium, with 19.3 million prescriptions;
4. Asthma medication Ventolin HFA, with 17.5 million prescriptions;
5. Obstructive pulmonary disease drug Advair Diskus, with 15.5 million prescriptions;
6. Antidepressant Cymbalta, with 14.5 million prescriptions;
7. Blood pressure drug Diovan, with 12 million prescriptions;
8. Attention deficit drug Vyvanse, with 9.9 million prescriptions;
9. Diabetes drug Lantus Solostar, with 9.9 million prescriptions; and
10. Epilepsy and nerve pain drug Lyrica, with 9.6 million prescriptions.
Report: The costs of specialty drugs are soaring
Meanwhile, the top-selling prescription drugs over the past 12 months were:
1. Antipsychotic Abilify, with $6.9 billion in sales;
2 Nexium, with $6.3 billion;
3. Arthritis drug Humira, with $5.9 billion;
4. Crestor, with $5.5 billion;
5. Advair Diskus; with $5.1 billion;
6. Arthritis drug Enbrel, with $4.9 billion;
7. Arthritis drug Remicade, with $4.2 billion;
8. Cymbalta; with $4.1 billion;
9. Multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone; with $3.7 billion; and
10. Cancer drug Neulasta, with $3.6 billion (Brooks, Medscape Medical News, 5/13).
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