Multinational pharmaceutical firms led local drug sales in the first quarter, continuing their market dominance from last year. Bacchus D, an energy drink categorized as “quasi-drug,” was the only local product in the top 10 drugs list.
According to data from IQVIA, the combined sales of the top 10 medicines reached 215.2 billion won ($200.3 million) in the first quarter, up 2.3 percent compared to 210.5 billion won in the same period of last year.
Dong-A Pharmaceutical’s Bacchus D sold 17.1 billion won in the first quarter, down 3 percent from 17.6 billion won a year earlier. Ranked eighth in drug sales, it was the only domestic pharmaceutical product among the top 10 drugs.
Pfizer's Lipitor, an anti-cholesterol drug, topped the first-quarter sales. Lipitor’s revenue recorded 33.4 billion won in the first quarter, up 7.8 percent from 31 billion won a year earlier.
Released in 2001, Lipitor maintained its growth momentum even after the expiration of its patent.
The second place went to Gilead Sciences’ Viread, a treatment for hepatitis B. Its sales went down to 29.2 billion won in the first quarter, falling 5.2 percent from 30.8 billion won a year earlier.
Roche’s anticancer drug Avastin ranked third, selling 25.9 billion won in the first quarter. Its sales were up 19.3 percent from 21.7 billion won a year earlier, threatening to take over Viread.
Roche’s another oncolytic therapy Herceptin, which ranked fourth, saw its revenue plunge by 17.5 percent to 21.6 billion won. The sales decline stemmed from competition against cheaper biosimilars that hit the market recently.
Abbvie’s Humira followed Herceptin. The rheumatoid arthritis treatment enjoyed 18 percent year-on-year sales growth, selling 19.5 billion won in the first quarter. Astellas’ immunosuppressive drug Prograf ranked sixth with 17.7 billion won sales, up 6.3 percent from a year earlier.
The No. 7 drug was Boehringer Ingelheim’s hypertension treatment Twynsta, which sold 17.6 billion won in the first quarter. Its sales were down 3.8 percent compared to 18.3 billion won a year earlier.
Eisai’s Aricept came next with 16.7 billion won revenue, up 10.6 percent from 15.1 billion won.
Bristol-Myers Squibb’s hepatitis B treatment Baraclude came in the 10th place. The drug used to be the No. 1 drug with annual sales exceeding 100 billion won.
Baraclude sold 16 billion won in the first quarter, inching down 0.4 percent from 16.1 billion won a year earlier.
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