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The 10 Most Prescribed Drugs

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    The 10 Most Prescribed Drugs

    April 20, 2011 - The 10 most prescribed drugs in the U.S. aren't the drugs on which we spend the most, according to a report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

    The institute is the public face of IMS, a pharmaceutical market intelligence firm. Its latest report provides a wealth of data on U.S. prescription drug use.

    Continuing a major trend, IMS finds that 78% of the nearly 4 billion U.S. prescriptions written in 2010 were for generic drugs (both unbranded and those still sold under a brand name). In order of number of prescriptions written in 2010,

    The 10 most-prescribed drugs in the U.S. are:

    Hydrocodone (combined with acetaminophen) -- 131.2 million prescriptions
    Generic Zocor (simvastatin), a cholesterol-lowering statin drug -- 94.1 million prescriptions
    Lisinopril (brand names include Prinivil and Zestril), a blood pressure drug -- 87.4 million prescriptions
    Generic Synthroid (levothyroxine sodium), synthetic thyroid hormone -- 70.5 million prescriptions
    Generic Norvasc (amlodipine besylate), an angina/blood pressure drug -- 57.2 million prescriptions
    Generic Prilosec (omeprazole), an antacid drug -- 53.4 million prescriptions (does not include over-the-counter sales)
    Azithromycin (brand names include Z-Pak and Zithromax), an antibiotic -- 52.6 million prescriptions
    Amoxicillin (various brand names), an antibiotic -- 52.3 million prescriptions
    Generic Glucophage (metformin), a diabetes drug -- 48.3 million prescriptions
    Hydrochlorothiazide (various brand names), a water pill used to lower blood pressure -- 47.8 million prescriptions.


    The 10 Best-Selling Drugs

    It shouldn't be a surprise that these generic drugs are not the ones bringing in the big bucks for pharmaceutical companies. The drugs on which we spend the most money are those that are still new enough to be protected against generic competition.

    The IMS reports that Americans spent $307 billion on prescription drugs in 2010. The 10 drugs on which we spent the most were:

    Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering statin drug -- $7.2 billion
    Nexium, an antacid drug -- $6.3 billion
    Plavix, a blood thinner -- $6.1 billion
    Advair Diskus, an asthma inhaler -- $4.7 billion
    Abilify, an antipsychotic drug -- $4.6 billion
    Seroquel, an antipsychotic drug -- $4.4 billion
    Singulair, an oral asthma drug -- $4.1 billion
    Crestor, a cholesterol-lowering statin drug -- $3.8 billion
    Actos, a diabetes drug -- $3.5 billion
    Epogen, an injectable anemia drug -- $3.3 billion


    U.S. Prescription Drug Use: 2010 Factoids
    Who's paying for all these drugs? Commercial insurance helped pay for 63% of prescriptions, down from 66% five years ago. Federal government spending through Medicare Part D covered 22% of prescriptions.

    For Americans covered by insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid, the average co-payment for a prescription was $10.73 -- down a bit from 2009 due to increased use of generic drugs. The average co-payment for branded drugs for which generic alternatives were available jumped 6% to $22.73.

    Other facts from the 2010 IMS report:

    Doctor visits were down 4.2% since 2009.
    Patients filled more than half of their prescriptions -- 54% -- at chain drugstores, possibly because of discounts on generic drugs.
    Brands that lost their protection from generic competition led to $12.6 billion less spending in 2010 than in 2009.
    The price increase for drugs without generic competition led to $16.6 billion more spending in 2010 than in 2009.
    Drug companies offered $4.5 billion in rebates to assist patients with the high cost of brand name drugs for which there was no generic alternative.

  2. #2
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    Im surprised I dont see anti depression drugs like Prozac and shit.
    It doesn't matter how you find the pot of gold, so long as you beat the leprechauns.
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    it is funny Big Pharma can advertise dick hard pills, my left eye twitches pills, Birth control pills, I can't breath pills but you cannot advertise liquor and cigarettes on TV

    Guess who is in who's pockets
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    The problems we face today are because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by the people who vote for a living

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    Quote Originally Posted by jagbender View Post
    it is funny Big Pharma can advertise dick hard pills, my left eye twitches pills, Birth control pills, I can't breath pills but you cannot advertise liquor and cigarettes on TV

    Guess who is in who's pockets
    i agree with you

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    I also agree that anti depress aren't on the top list.

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    Xanax baby

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    Wow

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    number one is scary

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    Quote Originally Posted by otis332 View Post
    I also agree that anti depress aren't on the top list.
    Life must not be all that bad then.

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    I'm surprised more narcotics aren't on the list.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jessblanco View Post
    number one is scary
    hydrocodone? or the cholest one? Isn't hydrocodone just like a excessive tyonel? Around here they prescribe that for anything. If you walk in there whining, you walk out with a script for something involving hydrocodone.
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    hydrocodone is vicodin and oxycodone is percocet... but yes they do also contain acetaminophen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pittsburgh63 View Post
    hydrocodone is vicodin and oxycodone is percocet... but yes they do also contain acetaminophen.

    oh, well then lol. I always just threw the shit out. I never take stuff like that, but I didn't realize i could have made a few bucks
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    Quote Originally Posted by perfectcircle View Post
    oh, well then lol. I always just threw the shit out. I never take stuff like that, but I didn't realize i could have made a few bucks
    Be careful-the Government is very territorial with their drug trade. They hate competition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDR View Post
    Be careful-the Government is very territorial with their drug trade. They hate competition.
    lol I was only teasing I've never actually even taken the stuff, the few times i've taken perscribed pain meds, they didn't do their job so I never even fill scripts now.
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    good info

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