The top 5 money makers were Lipitor ($5.9 billion retail cost), Nexium ($4.8b), Plavix ($3.8b), Advair ($3.6b), and Prevacid ($3.3b).
Brand names are listed in red. AARP: "Though brand names make up only 22% of the names on the list, they represent 62% of the $53.2 billion."
1. Hydrocodone (pain)
2. Lisinopril (hypertension)
3. Simvastatin (high cholesterol)
4. Levothyroxine (hypothyroidism)
5. Amoxicillin (bacterial infection)
6. Azithromycin (bacterial infection)
7. Lipitor (high cholesterol)
8. Hydrochlorothiazide (edema/hypertension)
9. Alprazolam (anxiety/depression)
10. Atenolol (hypertension)
11. Metformin (type 2 diabetes)
12. Metoprolol Succinate (hypertension)
13. Furosemide oral (edema/hypertension)
14. Metoprolol tartrate (hypertension)
15. Sertraline (depression)
16. Omeprazole (ulcers/reflux)
17. Zolpidem tartrate (insomnia)
18. Nexium (ulcers/reflux)
19. Lexapro (depression)
20. Oxycodone (pain)
21. Singulair (asthma)
22. Ibuprofen (pain/inflammation)
23. Plavix (blood clottong)
24. Prednisone oral (allergies/inflammation)
25. Fluoxetine (depression)
26. Synthroid (hypothyroidism)
27. Warfarin (blood clotting)
28. Cephalexin (bacterial infection)
29. Lorazepam (anxiety)
30. Clonazepam (epilepsy/anxiety)
31. Citalopram HBR (depression)
32. Tramadol (pain)
33. Gabapentin (epilepsy/pain
34. Ciprofloxacin HCl (bacterial infection)
35. Propoxyphene-N (pain)
36. Lisinopril (hypertension)
37. Triamterene (edema/hypertention)
38. Amoxicillin (bacterial infection)
39. Cyclobenzaprine (muscle injury/spasm)
40. Prevacid (ulcers/reflux)
41. Advair (asthma)
42. Effexor XR (depression)
43. Trazodone HCl (depression)
44. Fexofenadine (allergy)
45. Fluticasone nasal (allergy)
46. Diovan (hypertension)
47. Paroxetine (depression/anxiety)
48. Lovastatin (high cholesterol)
49. Crestor (high cholesterol)
50. Trimethoprim (bacterial infection)
Let me see...
10 of the top 50 are for anxiety or depression.
That's about 19% of the total cost ($10.3b of $53.2b). Depression is big business in this country.
4 of the top 50 are for high cholesterol, about 18% ($9.4b of $53.2b).
9 of the top 50 are for hypertension, about 9% ($4.9b of $53.2).
That adds up to 27% of the total cost, a lot of money for conditions that have been shown repeatedly to respond to diet and exercise.
These are a lot of drugs for not a lot of health.1 You have to wonder what impact disease mongering is having on this.2
2 The Fight Against Disease Mongering: Generating Knowledge For Action, PLoSMedicine, 2006
"Disease mongering is the selling of sickness that widens the boundaries of illness and grows the markets for those who sell and deliver treatments. It is exemplified most explicitly by many pharmaceutical industry–funded disease-awareness campaigns—more often designed to sell drugs than to illuminate or to inform or educate about the prevention of illness or the maintenance of health."Doug Bremner, the author of the book shown, blogs at BeforeYouTakeThatPill.com.