As a nation, America loves to talk about health. Two popular subjects frequently come up: what prescription drugs are people taking, and how much money are pharmaceutical companies making. But what are the facts? Here are the results from 2009
Also called atorvastatin, Lipitor is used in conjunction with exercise, weight-loss and diet to reduce the chance of heart attack and stroke, as well as decrease the chance that people with heart disease will need heart surgery. It is also used to decrease cholesterol and other fatty substances in the blood.
Sales: $7.5 billion
Nexium is a brand name for Esomeprazole, a medication that treats gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition where stomach acid flows into the esophagus and causes injury and heartburn. It is also used to lessen the chance of getting an ulcer in people who are taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Sales: $6.3 billion
Plavix is the brand name for Clopidogrel, an anti-blood clotting drug which is used to reduce heart attack risk, stroke, unstable angina and increase the chance of survival in cardiovascular disease patients.
Sales: $5.6 billion
4. Advair Diskus
Adviar is a brand name for a preparation of fluticasone/salmeterol. The combination treats constriction of the airways and is an anti-inflammatory. The preparation is used in conjunction with the Diskus device as an asthma inhaler designed to reduce shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing.
Sales: $4.7 billion
Seroquel is the brand name for quetiapine, a medication used to treat schizophrenia, and to prevent episodes of mania, or depression in bipolar disorder patients. Seroquel also may be used as part of a drug therapy treatment for depression.
Sales: $4.2 billion
Abilify is the brand name for aripiprazole, and is used to treat schizophrenia in teenagers and adults. Abilify is also used to treat mania or mixed espisodes of mania and depression in patients with bipolar disorder.
Sales: $4.0 billion
Singulair is the brand name for Montelukast. The medication is used to treat the symptoms of asthma, such as coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing. It is also used to treat the symptoms of allergic rhinitis that includes sneezing, and a stuffy, itchy, or runny nose.
Sales: $3.7 billion
Although pharmaceutical sales are forecasted to be slower this year, there is good news for consumers-- patents on some top selling drugs like Lipitor are running out, and they will be replaced by less expensive generic versions.
Prescription Drug Tip: Keep your prescription drugs on a different shelf or in a different area than those of your spouse to avoid any mix-ups.