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Top 10 pharma drugs in 2023

Top-10 Pharma Drugs in 2023

2023 was a game changing year with upsets on the pharma drugs best-selling list. With e.g. Novo Nordisk's groundbreaking introduction of Ozempic, revolutionizing diabetes type 2 treatment, the playing field was dramatically altered. Ozempic now stands shoulder-to-shoulder with established giants such as Humira, Eliquis, Dupixent, and Keytruda. Looking forward to 2024, it's intriguing to ponder how the rankings will unfold. But for now, let's explore an overview of the best-selling drugs in 2023.

 

1.     Keytruda – Merck 

 

In 2023, the cancer drug Keytruda emerged as the best-selling product, with sales reaching $25.011 billion. This marks a growth rate of 19% since 2022 when the drug sold for $20.937 billion. Keytruda is used to treat various forms of cancer, including melanoma, lung cancer, lymphoma, among others. It has been shown to significantly extend overall survival in certain patients with different cancer types. Keytruda is developed by the pharmaceutical company Merck, which saw its market cap rise to $60.12 billion in 2023, partly attributed to Keytruda's success.

 

2.     Dupixent – Sanofi & Regeneron 

 

Sanofi & Regeneron secured the second spot in best-selling drugs in 2023. With their medication Dupixent, used to treat atopic dermatitis, they generated sales of $23.178 billion solely from this product. This represents a growth rate of 31.34% from 2022 when the product sold for $17.417 billion. Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition affecting up to 20% of children and 10% of adults worldwide. Over 800,000 people are treated with Dupixent globally. The American companies Sanofi and Regeneron have a market cap of $105.86 billion.

 

3.     Eliquis – Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer

 

Eliquis ranks third in best-selling drugs in 2023. The drug, developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer, earned $18.953 billion in 2023. This reflects a growth rate of 4% since 2022, when the product sold for $18.269 billion. Eliquis is used for the prevention of blood clots in patients undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery. It is also used for stroke prevention and the treatment of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

 

4.     Humira – AbbVie 

 

AbbVie secured the fourth position on the list with its drug Humira, which sold for $14.404 billion in 2023. However, there was a significant decline from 2022 to 2023, with a growth rate of -32.20%. In 2022, the product sold for $21.237 billion. This is partly due to increased competition from biosimilars. In 2023 alone, nine alternatives to Humira were introduced, intensifying competition. Humira is a biological medication used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriatic arthritis.

 

5.     Ozempic – Novo Nordisk

 

Novo Nordisk holds the fifth position with its drug Ozempic, which generated sales of $13.892 billion in 2023. In 2022, the product sold for $10.060 billion, indicating a growth rate of 38.09%. Ozempic is used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes but also has weight loss as a prominent side effect. There is significant demand for the Ozempic pen among diabetics in Denmark and worldwide. The medication has contributed to record profits for Novo Nordisk, totaling $15.03 billion in revenue and $2.15 billion in corporate taxes last year.

 

6.     Eylea – Regeneron and Bayer

 

Regeneron and Bayer's medication Eylea, used for several eye diseases causing visual impairment due to age or in connection with diabetes or retinal vein occlusion, ranks next on the list. In 2023, the product sold for $12.876 billion, compared to $13.031 billion in 2022, representing a decline in growth rate of -1.19%. The medication is available as an injection administered into the eye. Currently, the cost of the medication in Denmark is $1002.53 for 40 mg/ml Eylea.

 

7.     Biktarvy – Gilead Sciences Inc.

 

Biktarvy takes the seventh spot on the list of best-selling drugs in 2023, developed by Gilead Sciences Inc. The product sold for $11.850 billion in 2023, compared to $10.390 billion in 2022, indicating a growth rate of 14%. Biktarvy is used to treat HIV infection in adults and children over 2 years old. Approximately 39 million people worldwide live with HIV, making Gilead Sciences a key player in the development of HIV medications.

 

8.     Comirnaty – Pfizer/BioNTech

 

In eighth place is the drug Comirnaty, a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTech. In 2023, the product sold for $11.220 billion, compared to $55.919 billion in 2022, indicating a decline in growth rate of -70%. However, this is also due to the fact that COVID-19 is no longer a threatening virus, and the majority of people have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

9.     Stelara – Johnson & Johnson 

 

Johnson & Johnson's medication for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, Stelara, ranks ninth among the best-selling drugs. In 2023, the product sold for $10.858 billion, marking an 11.67% growth since 2022, when the product sold for $9.723 billion. Currently, Stelara costs $26,673.40 for 45 mg/0.5 ml. The product works by suppressing the body's immune system and reducing inflammation reactions in psoriasis. It is available as an injectable solution administered under the skin and as a concentrate for infusion administered into a vein after dilution.

 

10.  Darzalex & Darzalex Faspro – Johnson & Johnson

 

Last but not least, Johnson & Johnson's medications Darzalex and Darzalex Faspro rank tenth on the list. In 2023, the product sold for $9.744 billion, compared to $7.977 billion in 2022, indicating a growth of 22.15%. Darzalex is used to treat multiple myeloma, a rare cancer of the bone marrow, and AL amyloidosis, a type of blood disorder. Darzalex works by inhibiting a specific protein found on the surface of cancer cells, preventing the cancer cell from dividing and leading to its demise.

 

 

Conclusion

 

In 2023, the pharmaceutical industry faced challenges, but Novo Nordisk's Ozempic (semaglutide) emerged as a promising addition, joining top-selling drugs like Keytruda. Novo Nordisk witnessed a remarkable one-third increase in sales, signaling the growing demand for innovative treatments for metabolic disorders. While treatments for metabolic diseases made significant strides, oncology drugs continued to dominate the list of bestsellers. Keytruda, a stalwart in cancer immunotherapy since the mid-2010s, maintained its position as the highest-grossing drug with sales of $25 billion, a 19% increase from 2022. Other oncology treatments, such as Darzalex, Opdivo, and Tagrisso, also experienced growth.

 

 

Click here to read our article on: " The Top-10 Biggest Companies in Global Pharma in 2024”


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Sources:

 

Buntz, B. (2024, March 14). Best-selling pharmaceuticals of 2023 reveal a shift in pharma landscape. Drug Discovery and Development. https://www.drugdiscoverytrends.com/best-selling-pharmaceuticals-2023/

 

A/S, D. L. I. (n.d.). medicin.dk – viden redder liv. 2024, Dansk Lægemiddel Information a/S. https://medicin.dk/

 

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