The World’s 15 Top Selling Drugs

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10. Avastin
> 2014 sales:
$6.1 billion
> Treatment for: Various cancers
> Drug manufacturer: The Roche Group
> Company’s headquarter: Switzerland

Approximately half of all cancer drug are sold by Roche, Novartis, and Amgen. Roche, the largest of the three, is the company behind three of the world’s best selling cancer drugs. Sales of Avastin, a drug meant to treat several cancers — cervical, colon, kidney, ovarian, lung, and brain — increased 6.4% from 2013 to 2014 to $6.1 billion. The drug is one of less than a dozen prescription medications with 2014 sales of more than $6 billion.

9. Rituxan/Mabthera
> 2014 sales:
$6.6 billion
> Treatment for: Various cancers
> Drug manufacturer: The Roche Group
> Company’s headquarter: Switzerland

Marketed as Rituxan in the United States, Mabthera is a drug intended to treat certain forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. The drug, made by Roche’s Genentech, has also been shown to be effective as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Roche is the world’s largest producer of cancer drugs — and Rituxan is its best seller.

8. Nexium
> 2014 sales:
$7.7 billion
> Treatment for: Acid reflux
> Drug manufacturer: AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN)
> Company’s headquarter: United Kingdom

Used to treat symptoms of acid reflux disease like heartburn, Nexium is one of the best selling prescription drugs in the world. A recent study suggested that Nexium and other similar drugs may lead to an increased risk of kidney disease. If consumers believe this risk outweighs the drug’s benefits, Nexium sales may soon fade. The drug’s $7.7 billion in 2014 sales marked a 1.4% drop from $7.9 billion the year before. It is the only drug on this list that posted a one-year sales decline.

7. Remicade
> 2014 sales:
$8.1 billion
> Treatment for: Arthritis, psoriasis, bowel diseases
> Drug manufacturer: Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ)
> Company’s headquarter: United States

More than 2 million people worldwide have used Remicade to treat a range of conditions, including bowel diseases Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, as well as the severe skin condition plaque psoriasis. Johnson & Johnson sold $8.1 billion worth of the drug in 2014, up 7.7% from $7.6 billion the year before. The pharmaceutical giant holds several patents on compounds contained in its best-selling drug, Remicade — some extending as far as 2027. According to the company, this means it is unlikely that a viable alternative to Remicade will hit the U.S. market in the near future.

6. Crestor
> 2014 sales:
$8.5 billion
> Treatment for: High cholesterol
> Drug manufacturer: AstraZeneca
> Company’s headquarter: United Kingdom

Crestor is British drug manufacturer AstraZeneca’s best-selling drug. It is also the best-selling prescription treatment for high cholesterol. The company is expecting Crestor sales to take a hit in the near future, however, as its patent is set to expire in 2016, opening the door for other drug companies to release generic versions of the formula and cash in on the blockbuster drug.