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Humira remains top pharma product, but Sovaldi closes in

AbbVie’s blockbuster may be bumped to second place this year

Gilead HQ 

Gilead's new hep C drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni are poised to topple AbbVie's autoinflammatory drug Humira as the biggest-selling pharmaceutical product in the world.

Humira (adalimumab) made $13bn in sales in 2014, a growth of 17%, but Gilead was a close second with its hep C pills making $12.4bn in revenue, a massive growth of 8,828% on 2013. 

Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) and Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) were both approved last year and had stellar sales form the get-go, and are set to take the top spot in 2015.  

This is according to new data published exclusively on PMLiVE by analysts at GlobalData.

With the exception of Harvoni/Sovaldi, the rest of the top ten products remain fairly static, with biologics making up the bulk of this list.

Taking third spot is Janssen's autoinflammatory drug Remicade (infliximab), which saw $10.1bn in sales and growth of 3%.

The drug will however have its third place threatened from this after new and cheaper biosimilar versions were approved in Europe, were it makes about $2bn a year.

The rare disease drug Soliris (eculizumab) has also made an appearance in the top 50 list - but only just - taking forty-eight place with sales of $2.2bn in 2014, registering an impressive 44% growth rate on the year-before period. 

This is especially impressive as the treatment is designed to treat two highly rare conditions - paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (aHUS) - both of which only affect several thousand people globally. 

But with rarity comes a high cost, with Soliris' price tag around $500,000 across most mature markets - this is what has helped the company jump up the ranks. 

Falling sales

GlaxoSmithKline's respiratory drug Seretide (also known as Advair) saw the biggest fall in sales for a top ten product, slipping from fourth place in 2013 to eighth in 2014. 

Sales were $6.7bn for the year - a fall of 20% as pricing pressures and competition from products such as AstraZeneca's Symbicort affected its once dominant market share.

Patent expiries have also seen a number of high profile drugs drop out of the top 50 list altogether.

One of these has been Lilly's depression drug Cymbalta (duloxetine) that lost its patent protection last year. The drug was the eleventh biggest-selling drug in the world in 2013 with $5.2bn in sales, but has now fallen off the top 50 products list. 

Boehringer has seen a similar situation with its heart drug Micardis (telmisartan) that has been losing patent protection for over a year. It saw sales of $3.3bn in 2013, according to GlobalData, and was the twenty-fifth biggest-selling product.

It has now also dropped out of the top 50 list altogether, however, as generic erosion takes hold. 

For a full list of the top 50 biggest-selling pharmaceutical products in 2014, click here. 

Article by
Ben Adams

4th June 2015

From: Sales



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