Cholesterol-reducing Lipitor is currently the world's most successful pharmaceutical product by lifetime sales (though it will be surpassed during 2018 by Abbvie's Humira). Two decades after its launch it still ranks among drugs giant Pfizer's portfolio of blockbusters. It was the first drug ever to exceed sales of $10bn per year and at its peak in 2006 it accounted for more than a quarter of Pfizer's annual sales, and around 40% of all prescriptions for lipid-lowering medications, more than twice as much as its closest rival. However its share has slipped considerably since then, first with the emergence of low-cost generic competitors to rival products, and more recently from expiry of its own US patent in November 2011. It remains a giant within the industry, still generating sales of $1.9bn in 2017 for Pfizer, but that figure is less than a sixth of the sum it achieved at its peak. Lipitor is licensed to Astellas Pharma in Japan, where sales had falled to around $215m by 2017. Total cumulative sales in the US alone since its launch in 1997 are almost $95bn.
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Capsule checked 6th March 2018
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Adbrands Weekly Update 24th May 2018: Trade source Fierce Pharma has compiled an interesting table of the top drugs sold in the US over the past 25 years, using cumulative sales figures. It passed its peak several years ago now, but Pfizer's cholesterol drug Lipitor is still the clear leader with total sales to-date of almost $95bn. It could soon be toppled, though, by AbbVie's Humira, a treatment for auto-immune conditions. Sales are already almost $76bn, and Humira is expected to become the first drug ever to top $20bn in sales in a single year before its patent expires in 2023. In third place for now is Nexium, from AstraZeneca, for acid reflux and ulcers. It too is past its peak, but cumulative sales currently stand at over $72bn. GSK's Advair and Amgen's Enbrel rounded out the top five at $69bn and $68bn respectively. (See full feature here).
Historical profile information for Lipitor
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