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Latest Top 100 Drug Sales Data Released: Loss of Patent Protection Has Significant Effect

NEW YORK, August 15, 2012 --, the leading online clinical drug resource, today released second quarter 2012 U.S. prescription sales data for the top 100 drugs.

Proton-pump inhibitors, antipsychotics, asthma therapeutics and statins remain the top selling categories. Plavix and Seroquel dipped in the second quarter due to loss of patent protection. Other top brands such as Singulair, Actos and Diovan are also due to be impacted by year’s end.

Top Five Drugs by Sales

AstraZeneca’s Nexium claims the top spot with over $1.38 billion in sales, overtaking Plavix which dropped to ninth. Otsuka’s Abilify exceeded sales of $1.37 billion in a close race with Nexium. Merck’s top selling asthma and allergy brand Singulair finished the quarter strongly with over $1.28 billion in sales. However, competition is on the horizon with the first generic versions of Singulair (montelukast) approved by the FDA in early August.

Drug Name Sales ($000) % Change (previous quarter)
Nexium $1,380,413 -1.12%
Abilify $1,379,149 2.91%
Singulair $1,287,806 4.01%
Advair Diskus $1,124,985 -1.25%
Crestor $1,124,702 0.61%

Top Five Sales Gains

Escitalopram, the generic version of Forest’s Lexapro makes the largest gain, almost doubling from the previous quarter to close with $416 million in sales. Epogen jumps from the fourth spot in Q1 sales losses to the number three spot in Q2 sales gains with an increase of over $65 million.

Drug Name Gain ($000) % Change (previous quarter)
escitalopram $206,199 +98.11%
Humira $87,515 +9.43%
Epogen $65,278 +13.33%
Rituxan $62,543 +8.26%
Enbrel $57,984 +6.51%

Top Five Sales Losses

While the extended release formulation of Seroquel (Seroquel XR) remains patent protected until 2017, the immediate release version of Seroquel claims the top loss in Q2.

Drug Name Loss ($000) % Change (previous quarter)
Seroquel -$1,001,283 -86.23%
Plavix -$686,059 -42.33%
Lipitor -$261,418 -31.09%
atorvastatin -$168,400 -17.68%
budesonide -$64,282 -24.99%

“Medicines appearing at the top of the sales data for the second quarter show a strong brand presence, reinforcing the impact of research and development across multiple disease states.” said Philip Thornton, CEO of “However, as many top brands face patent expiration over the next few years, a reduction in sales of affected medicines will be inevitable - with each expiration contributing to the phenomenon colloquially referred to as the ‘patent cliff’.”

Dollar losses in Q2 2012 are unprecedented. Seroquel forfeits close to 86 percent, or over $1 billion in sales and plummets 95 spots in sales ranking due to loss of patent protection. Lipitor and its generic counterpart atorvastatin, which posted the number one sales gain in Q1 2012, both close the quarter with sales losses.

Detailed data on the top 100 drugs can be accessed at:

About is the leading online drug information resource with over seven million unique visitors per month (ComScore, June 2012). Providing free, independent, peer-reviewed, and up-to-date information at both consumer and professional levels, empowers patients and caregivers to take charge of their health and be more informed than ever before. The site includes many interactive tools and mobile apps to assist consumers, healthcare professionals and researchers, such as personal medication records, a drug interaction checker, pill identification wizard, symptom checker, pharma sales statistics and more.

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Posted: August 2012