Skip to Content Releases Q3 Sales for Top 100 U.S. Drugs

Singulair Drops but Nexium and Abilify Remain the Leading Brands.

NEW YORK, Nov. 21, 2012 --, the leading online clinical drug resource, today released third quarter 2012 U.S. prescription sales data for the top 100 drugs.

As in the previous quarter, proton-pump inhibitors, antipsychotics and statins remain in the top-selling therapeutic categories. Merck’s asthma and allergy preventive Singulair predictably drops out of the top five drugs due to Q3 patent loss.

Top Five Drugs by Sales, Q3 2012

Drug Name Sales ($000) % Change (previous quarter)
Nexium $1,420,907 2.93%
Abilify $1,405,226 1.89%
Crestor $1,245,527 10.74%
Cymbalta $1,158,353 9.50%
Humira $1,152,261 13.45%

AstraZeneca’s Nexium, not forecast to lose patent protection until May 2014, once again holds the top spot with over $1.42 billion in sales. Otsuka’s leading antipsychotic Abilify continues to run a close race with Nexium, posting sales of $1.40 billion. The antidepressant and pain modifier Cymbalta and the TNF blocker Humira both break their way into the top five and exceed sales of $1.15 billion.

Top Five Sales Gains, Q3 2012

Drug Name Gain ($000) % Change (previous quarter)
Humira $136,622 +13.45%
Crestor $120,825 +10.74%
Enbrel $118,579 +12.51%
Cymbalta $100,533 +9.50%
Copaxone $79,255 +9.93%

Humira not only moves into the top five drugs by sales, but also displaces escitalopram to claim the number one spot for revenue gains with over $136 million. Enbrel, with a doubling of sales gains, is the only other brand besides Humira to reappear in the top five sales gain in Q3 compared to Q2 2012. Crestor, Cymbalta and Copaxone all move into the top five, approaching or exceeding double-digit gains.

Top Five Sales Losses, Q3 2012

Drug Name Loss ($000) % Change (previous quarter)
Singulair -$800,968 -62.20%
atorvastatin -$613,501 -78.25%
Lipitor -$392,788 -67.80%
Eloxatin -$251,500 -55.33%
Actos -$241,058 -41.96%

Merck’s Singulair drops 20 spots in sales ranking and loses over $800 million in sales due to first-time generic competition. Takeda’s Actos, which has been slowly losing sales over the last 12 months, went generic in August and quickly drops 42 percent of revenue.

“Unprecedented pharmaceutical sales losses continue to make headlines in Q3 2012, highlighted by the Singulair patent expiry in August,” said Philip Thornton, CEO of “But these changes can be thought of as a win-win situation -- generic availability enables cost-savings for patients, while loss of exclusivity encourages the pharmaceutical industry to further develop new and life-saving therapeutics.”

Pfizer’s Lipitor continues to slide and drops 68 spots to close the quarter $392 million in the negative. As expected, the total dollar revenue of Lipitor’s generic counterpart atorvastatin rapidly declines, dropping by over $613 million due to the market entrance of multiple generic manufacturers and inevitable price erosion.

Lidoderm, Maxalt and Actoplus Met are the next major brands expected to feel the effect of patent loss before the year’s end.

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

Posted: November 2012