The pharmaceutical business is an extremely profitable one. According to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, spending on medicine in the U.S. alone exceeded $307 billion in 2010. For many drug makers, one money-spinner can carry a company for years, even longer, before the patent expires and low-cost generic versions can be made.
The IMS recently released its annual list of the ten top-selling drugs in the US, based on sales. Each of them have brought in at least $3 billion dollars.
However, a majority of these drugs will lose patent protection in the next five years. Generic versions will quickly dent sales and revenue.
Here's a look at their sales, when their patent protection expires and which generic drug makers will offer alternatives.
IMS data is based on only U.S. sales and wholesaler invoice prices; it does not reflect off-invoice discount and rebates, thus total dollar sales numbers almost always exceed those provided by the manufacturers themselves.
Click ahead for the ten top-selling prescription drugs in the U.S.
By Jill Weinberger
23 May 2011