With the increasing prevalence of different health conditions requiring expensive lifelong treatment, the global sales of therapeutics have been expected to skyrocket in the coming years. In the year 2015, pharmaceutical spending in the United States has reached 1 112.2 USD per capita. This covers expenditures on both prescription medicines as well as self-medication or over-the-counter products.

According to a report published by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, therapeutic classes with the highest level of spending account for 42%  of the total pharmaceutical spending. These include treatment for chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and asthma/COPD. Moreover, among these top classes, seven of which are specialty medicines known to have novel mechanisms and improved efficacy that represent the latest innovation in global medicine. Furthermore, global brand spending is also predicted to increase from $596B in 2011 to $615-645B in 2016. On the other hand, global generic spending is expected to increase from $242B to $400-430B by 2016.

The figure below conveys the top 10 therapy areas that account for a huge percentage of the total global pharmaceutical spending.

top-10-therapeutic-classes-with-highest-spending

  1. Oncologics ($83 – 88 B)

In 2014, Rituxan developed by the pharmaceutical company, Roche, was ranked as the top-selling cancer drug that generated total sales of $7546M. By the year 2020, Roche will concede long-running possession of the biggest selling oncology brand. It was predicted that Celgene’s Revlimid will take the top spot with $10110M in total sales.

  1. Antidiabetics ($48 – 53 B)

Based on the 2015 revenue, Lantus and Januvia are some of the top selling anti–diabetic drugs of all time. Though a decline of 10.8% in sales compared to its 2014 revenue, Lantus is still the world’s best-selling insulin brand. It actually generated $6.98B total sales and accounts for 17.2% of Sanofi-Aventis Group’s aggregate net sales in 2015. On the other hand, Merck Sharp & Dohme’s Januvia was the major candidate in the company’s diabetic portfolio that accounted for 64.3% of the company’s revenue from diabetes drugs in 2015.

  1. Asthma/COPD ($44 – 48 B)

Among all respiratory products sold in the United States, GlaxoSmithKline’s Advair Diskus ranked first in the year 2015. Advair Diskus generated a total revenue of $4835M. This was followed by Boehringer Ingelheim’s Spiriva Handihaler which yielded a profit of $3404M.

  1. Autoimmune ($33 – 36 B)

According to American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), autoimmune diseases affect almost 50 million Americans. Thus, global sales of autoimmune disease treatment are expected to rise in the coming years. In fact, in a market study titled “Global Autoimmune Drugs Market 2016-2020”, it was discussed that the market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.57%.

  1. Lipid Regulators ($31 – 34 B)

AstraZeneca’s Crestor was among the top-selling branded drugs in the year 2015. Its total sales reached $6,090,223,570 which ranked 5th among the top 100 brands. Crestor was also considered as the most prescribed branded drug in the United States, which accounted for approximately 21 million prescriptions.

  1. Angiotensin II ($22 – 25 B)

According to the World Health Organization, elevated blood pressure is estimated to cause 7.5 million deaths, about 12.8% of the total of all deaths. This accounts for 57 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYS) or 3.7% of total DALYS. Hence, interventions to manage such condition have been widely available in order to minimize the risk of developing serious health complications such as coronary heart disease.

  1. HIV Antivirals ($22 – 25 B)

HIV remains one of the major challenges in public health, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Advancement in technology has led to the development of therapeutic drugs to improve the quality and prolong the lives of HIV patients. In fact, out of 36.7 million HIV patients, 46% of them have access to antiretroviral therapy (ART).

  1. Antipsychotics ($22 – 25 B)

In a report published by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S. experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. However, not all patients have access to proper and adequate treatment, which may eventually lead to the development of chronic medical conditions. Aside from this, another problem that may arise as a consequence of this issue is its negative impact on the economy. In fact, serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.

  1. Vaccines ($19 -22 B)

Through the goal of providing health for all, immunization programs conducted in different parts of the world have boosted the sales of vaccines. Considering the estimated profit in the year 2015 and the projected revenue in the year 2022, Pfizer and Daewoong’s Prevnar 13 bagged the top spot. This was followed by Merck & Co.’s Gardasil, Sanofi’s Fluxone / Vaxigrip and Pentacel, and lastly, GlaxoSmithKline’s Pediarix.

  1. Immunostimulants ($16 – 18 B)

Immunostimulants are divided into two categories: specific and nonspecific. Specific immunostimulants stimulate an immune response to specific antigenic types, while nonspecific immunostimulants do not have antigenic specificity and are widely used in chronic infections, immunodeficiency, autoimmunity and neoplastic diseases. One of the most commonly prescribed immunostimulants is Provenge, a registered trademark of Dendreon Corporation.

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