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Top Branded Drug Sales for 2011

Some drugs remain blockbusters even after loss of market protection.


Companies begin releasing their annual sales data during the first quarter each year but if you want an early jump on how branded sales fared in 2011 here's a well-researched estimate released in November 2010.

Krishan Maggon, a pharmaceutical industry consultant, has a multi-year track record of forecasting sales using both sales data published in manufacturers' quarterly reports and projecting 4th quarter 2011 sales based on actual 4th quarter sales in 2010.

"The projected results may differ from actual results due to a variety of factors like exchange rates fluctuations, market conditions, financial and market cap, national price controls, regulatory restrictions and approvals of new indications," writes Maggon.

The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics also cautions that the industry is less predictable than in the past. “Past patterns of spending offer few clues about the level of expected growth through 2015,” Murray Aitken, IMS executive director. noted in early 2011. “There are unprecedented dynamics at play, which are driving rapid shifts in the mix of spending by patients and payers between branded products and generics, and across both developed and pharmerging markets.”


Pfizer's Lipitor (atorvastatin) retained its number one ranking with a projected $10.7 billion in sales for 2011. During it's patent life, Lipitor earned $130 billion total sales. Declining U.S. sales of Lipitor were offset by an increase in international sales and a weak dollar.

After Lipitor went off-patent in November 2010, Pfizer launched “Lipitor For You,” a program allowing patients to purchase Lipitor at generic prices through the mail or through partner pharmacies.

Lipitor is prescribed for reducing the amount of cholesterol in the blood. High levels of cholesterol in some people can increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other heart diseases.

Atorvastatins, including Lipitor, work by slowing the production of cholesterol in the body, according to the National Library of Medicine.


http://ibdcrohns.about.com/od/remicade/a/remicadefaq.htm Remicade, distributed by Janssen Biotech, was the top selling biologic and monoclonal branded antibody with $8.5 billion in sales in 2011.

Remicade" (infliximab injection) is a Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNFα) blocker prescribed for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Remicade could become the number one selling branded drug in 2012 since Lipitor has lost patent protection.

Other top selling biologics of 2011 were Humira and Enbrel.


Advair (fluticasone propionate) from GlaxoSmithKline is prescribed for the prevention of asthma symptoms and for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Sales of Advair in 2011 are expected to exceed $8 billion.

Citing the aging population, Decision Resources, a pharmaceutical industry market research firm, predicts that the global market for COPD drugs, currently led by GSK's Advair, will reach $13.4 billion by 2020 in the major markets of the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan.


Sales of Plavix, managed by a Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi Pharmaceuticals partnership, are expected to top $8 billion in 2011.

Plavix (clopidogrel) is an antiplatelet drug prescribed for the prevention of heart attack or stroke. According to PubMed Health, it works by helping to prevent blood clots.

Other Major Players

Seven brands had sales over $7 billion and 14 had sales over $5 billion in 2011, according to Maggon's analysis.

Prevnar 13, a pediatric vaccine for the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease, manufactured by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals became one of the top 20 best selling drugs in 2011. Incivek (telaprevir) a treatment for hepatitis C marketed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a Johnson & Johnson company) was the first drug to reach sales of $1 billion within a year of launch.

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