Rough U.S. Flu Season Boosts Numbers for Tamiflu

Drugs.com, a leading online clinical drug resource, today released first quarter 2013 U.S. prescription sales data for the top 100 drugs. The top five drugs have minor shifts in rank but exhibit positive growth for Q1 2013. Abilify, Otsuka's second generation antipsychotic, and Nexium, AstraZeneca's leading acid blocker, rank as the top two drugs by sales for the fourth quarter in a row. Both agents hover in the $1.5 billion range for quarterly sales. Cymbalta, Eli Lilly's heavily promoted depression and pain agent, moves past Crestor, AstraZeneca's leading statin, even as Cymbalta faces end-of-year patent loss. Advair Diskus, GlaxoSmithKline's cornerstone asthma and COPD inhaler, grabs the fifth spot.

The most recent U.S. influenza season hit long and hard. Roche's Tamiflu jumps 32 spots and posts a 65 percent sales increase. Other respiratory medications, including Synagis for pediatric respiratory syncytial virus and the aforementioned Advair, also saw a boost in sales gains.

"Seasonal fluctuations in pharmaceutical sales are common, particularly in cold, flu and allergy seasons," says Philip Thornton, CEO of Drugs.com. "This year's flu activity, which started about four weeks early and was relatively severe, is evident in the Tamiflu numbers."

Detailed data on the top 100 drugs can be accessed at:
http://www.drugs.com/stats/top100/sales

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