If you have a chronic autoimmune condition, your physician is probably insisting that you take a disease-modifying drug to stop the progression of damage. These drugs are often expensive and come with many side effects.
Here are the ten most prescribed drugs and their total sales during a one-year period (from 2013-2014) as well as information on what the drug is meant to treat.
- Abilify, $7.2 billion, antipsychotic
- Humira, $6.3 billion, biologic autoimmune
- Nexium, $6.3 billion, lowers stomach acid
- Crestor, $5.6 billion, lowers cholesterol
- Enbrel, $5.0 billion, biologic autoimmune
- Advair Diskus, $5.0 billion, asthma / autoimmune
- Sovaldi, $4.4 billion, hepatitis C antiviral
- Remicade, $4.3 billion, biologic autoimmune
- Lantus Solostar, $3.8 billion, diabetes
- Neulasta, $3.6 billion, colony stimulating factor to help low white blood cell counts after chemotherapy
Three of these top-selling drugs are powerful biologic drugs that treat autoimmunity by turning off a particular step in the immune pathway. They are incredibly expensive, costing $45,000 to $100,000 a year.