Tamiflu Leads Q1 Drug Sales Growth

May 07, 2013
By BioPharm International Editors

In the first quarter of 2013, the rankings for the top five drugs by sales shifted a bit, but exhibited positive growth for the quarter, according to a report released by Drugs.com. Abilify, Otsuka's second generation antipsychotic, and Nexium, AstraZeneca's leading acid blocker, ranked as the top two drugs by sales for the fourth quarter in a row, each with approximately $1.5 billion in quarterly sales.

Abilify sales grew 3.2% over the previous quarter; Nexium's sales increased 1.2%. Cymbalta, Eli Lilly''s depression and pain agent, moved past Crestor, AstraZeneca's leading statin, even as Cymbalta faces end-of-year patent loss. Advair Diskus, GlaxoSmithKline's cornerstone asthma and COPD inhaler, grabbed the fifth spot.

An early influenza season contributed to a big jump for Roche's Tamiflu, which moved up 32 spots and posted a 65% sales increase from the previous quarter. Other respiratory medications, including Synagis for pediatric respiratory syncytial virus and Advair, also saw a boost in sales gains, the report says.

The five drugs leading the list of dollar losses for the quarter forfeited between $28 million and $46 million. Modafinil, the generic version of Teva's Provigil, was launched in Q2 2012 but sales have since slowed. Sales of Biogen Idec's Avonex continue to slide in response to the approval of oral multiple sclerosis drugs. Enoxaparin and Truvada rounded out the top five, with sales decreases of 7.4% and 5.1% respectively. Avonex and Incivek appeared in the top five of sales losses for the second consecutive quarter, according to the report.

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