Top-Selling Pharmaceuticals of 2012

As a pharmacist, you’ve no doubt researched and dispensed thousands of pharmaceuticals last year. You’ve also counseled countless patients on their use, any adverse side effects and how they may react with other medications the patients may be taking.

You’ve “handled” thousands of medicines; do you know which ones were the top sellers?

Read below for some of the top-selling medicines of 2012. reported in October that the following were the top selling drugs of 2012 (as of October) according to

  1. Humira
  2. Enbrel
  3. Advair/Seretide
  4. Remicade
  5. Rituxan
  6. Crestor
  7. Lantus
  8. Herceptin
  9. Avastin
  10. Lipitor
  11. Abilify
  12. Plavix
  13. Cymbalta
  14. Gleevec
  15. Spiriva in June 2012 came out with list of the top sellers for 2011, noting that the top 20 accounted for almost $320 billion in sales, with the most “lucrative” grouping of drugs being those that worked to prevent heart disease. Drugs to treat depression as a group came in second.


The top selling drugs in 2011 were:

  1. Lipitor
  2. Plavix
  3. Nexium
  4. Abilify
  5. Advair
  6. Seroquel
  7. Singulair
  8. Crestor
  9. Cymbalta
  10. Humira

What’s the all-time best seller?
YahooFinance in September
named the top five best sellers of all time, also noting that “according to IMS Health, global pharma sales grew 5.1% to $956 billion between 2010 and 2011. This represented an all-time high and was nearly double the level of $503 billion back in 2003.”

So which drug is the top seller? Lipitor. The cholesterol-lowering drug became available for prescription in 1997 and according to the article, sales soared to around $125 billion total. Generic drugs have been taking market share away since its patent expired in 2011.

Do these rankings mesh with your own experience? Which drugs did you deal with the most in 2012?


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