September 13, 2012
Report Highlights Top Prescription Drugs From 2011
April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
It might surprise you to know that people in the United States took a record number of prescription drugs last year - 4.02 billion to be exact. That is up from the 3.99 billion taken in 2010. The cost of these drugs ran an amazing $308.6 billion in 2010 and a whopping $319.9 billion in 2011.
Those numbers and more appear in the annual profile of top prescription medicines published in ACS Chemical Neuroscience.
Craig W. Lindsley, editor-in-chief for ACS, analyzed data on 2011 drugs with a focus on medications for central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Antipsychotic drugs — those used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD, Tourette syndrome and some forms of depression — ranked number 5 on the list of most prescribed class of drugs by sales. Antidepressants, for anxiety and depression, ranked at number 7.
Unsurprisingly, Xanax, Celexa and Zoloft were the most-prescribed psychiatric medicines, with other depression and anxiety medications rounding out the top 10. Two antipsychotics were among the 10 drugs that Americans spent the most on, with Abilify in fourth place.
Lindsley explains that while antidepressants continued to be the most-prescribed class of CNS drugs in 2011, prescriptions for ADHD medicines increased by 17 percent and multiple sclerosis medications by 22.5 percent in sales from 2010.
Expiring patents on major antipsychotics in the next few years will put pressure on drug makers to innovate, however, the industry should be heartened by the growth of the number of prescriptions and spending.