Top 15 Drug Sales and what they tell us about the USA.

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There are hundred of thousands of different drugs, pills and medications available within the US, some over the counter, some with a prescription and others that have become household names over a number of years. Do these different colored little tablets tell us anything other than which pharmaceutical company is cashing in our citizens? Yes! It says a lot more.

If we have a look at this list, even on just a superficial level, it shows us some of the most frequently occurring conditions plaguing our nation, as well as the pharmaceuticals that are helping treating them.

The following list, compiled by Medscape, gives a 12-month glimpse into the top 15 sold drugs in the US.

Drug Name and What it treats;

  1. Humira – Arthritis
  2. Abilify – Psychosis, depression
  3. Sovaldi – Hepatitis C
  4. Crestor – Cholesterol
  5. Enbrel – Arthritis
  6. Harvoni – Hepatitis C
  7. Nexium – Acid reflux
  8. Advair Diskus – Asthma
  9. Lantus Solostar – Diabetes
  10. Remicade – Arthritis
  11. Copaxone – Multiple sclerosis
  12. Neulasta – Cancer, Anemia
  13. Januvia – Diabetes
  14. Lantus – Diabetes
  15. Rituxan – Cancer

According to the CDC in 2010 the CDC reported the three most frequently prescribed drug categories during a doctor’s office visit were pain medications, cholesterol medicines, and antidepressants. A CDC report issued the following year found the most frequently prescribed drug classes during hospital outpatient visits were pain medications, diabetes drugs, and cholesterol medication. It would seem that pain, cholesterol, depression and diabetes appear to be the four most treated conditions in the country.

Although published 5 years apart, Medscape and the CDC’s findings are still highly comparable. In the Medscape list we can see several pain medications related to their severe usually ongoing conditions such as arthritis and cancer. Other drugs are notable because of the length of time that patients needed to be on sustained treatment. Probably the biggest surprise is the prevalence of two Hepatitis C medications, being a disease without cure, this lifelong treatment will continue its high sales.

Interestingly, out of the 15 drugs listed here, 7 can be considered lifestyle related diseases. Diseases such as diabetes and cholesterol are mostly linked to the consumption of sugary and hi fat foods, something we know is an area America at large is struggling with. According to the CDC and the National Health Interview Survey, over 68.8% of American adults are considered to be overweight or obese. Hepatitis C can also be considered a lifestyle related disease.

Whether further investigation and deeper study of this list will give a different opinion is yet to be seen. However, I believe we can mostly come to several very relevant conclusions based on what’s seen here.

Sources:

www.medscape.com

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/Pages/overweight-obesity-statistics.aspx