Market Overview

What Are The Best-Selling Drugs Of 2014?


What are the top-selling pharmaceutical drugs of the year?

While 2014 is not yet over, it's possible to explore to answer to this question after making a few educated assumptions.

According to research from IMS Health, a healthcare services, information and technology provider, the top ten best selling drugs alone booked over $52 billion in sales between July 2013 and June 2014.

The top five from that list are as follows:


Abilify, which has the generic name aripiprazole, is a partial dopamine agonist. It belongs to the second-generation class of antipsychotics. The drug has been approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression as an add-on treatment when the patient has not responded sufficiently to the main antidepressant.

Aripiprazole was developed by Japanese pharmaceutical company Otsuka, and is jointly marketed in the U.S. by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE: BMY) and Otsuka America. For the period between July 2013 and June 2014, aripiprazole brought in sales of $7.2 billion.

Aripiprazole had its peak year to date in 2011, bringing in over $7.3 billion. It netted $4.1 billion and $5.3 billion in sales in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

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Humira, which has the generic name adalimumab, is a TNF anti-inflammatory drug. It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. AbbVie Inc (NYSE: ABBV) took ownership of the drug after the split of Abbott.

Adalimumab was the first fully human monoclonal antibody drug approved by the FDA. Humira was the most sold drug in 2012 and 2013, bringing in nearly $9.3 billion and $10.6 billion in those years.

More recently, it brought in about $6.3 billion in sales in June 2014, and the 11 months that preceded it.


Known by the generic name esomeprazole, Nexium is used to treat symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions that have to do with excessive stomach acid. It belongs to the group of drugs known as proton-pump inhibitors.  

AstraZeneca plc's (NYSE: AZN) Nexium was the 19th best-selling drug in 2013, bringing in nearly $3.9 billion, down 1.8 percent from 2012's final tally. Nexium is doing even better of late. It brought in over $6.3 billion between July 2013 and June 2014.


Crestor is an HMG CoA reductase inhibitor that's used to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. It is usually used in combination with exercise, diet, and weight loss plans to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Crestor, which is known by the generic name rosuvastatin, was developed by Japanese pharmaceutical company Shionogi & Co. Limited. It is marketed in the U.S. by AstraZeneca.

Crestor was the ninth highest-selling drug in 2013, with sales coming in at $5.9 billion, although that was 9.4 percent short of the entirety of 2012 sales numbers. With more than $5.6 billion in sales during the period measured by IMS Health's study, Crestor could end the year better than it did in 2013.


Known by the generic name etanercept, Enbrel is used to treat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and to prevent joint damage that the above conditions cause. Etanercept is a TNF inhibitor that works by decreasing a specific type of protein produced by the immune system.

Enbrel was developed by a team of researchers at Immunex, which was acquired by Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) in 2002. It is co-marketed in North America by Amgen and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE).

Enbrel was the fifth most sold drug in 2013, with sales coming in at over $8.3 billion (between Amgen and Pfizer combined).

Enbrel sales came in at about $5.1 billion between July 2013 and June 2014.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Posted-In: Abilify best-selling drugs Crestor Enbrel highest grossing drugs HumiraHealth Care General


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