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Eyes On Pharma Blog 

Our Comments & Links on Top 4 Biggest Drugs in 2023




A Look Back at 2023's Top Sellers


FiercePharma recently ranked the Top 20 biggest drugs of 2023. We're sharing more Details on the Top 4 + a link to the list.

1)        Merck’s oncology drug Keytruda, with global sales of $25 billion (the drug accounted for approximately 40% of Merck’s 2023 total revenue). The PD-L1 inhibitor targets more than 30 indications across various cancer stages and types. This year’s sales of Keytruda are expected to reach $30 billion. The world’s bestseller is in competition with Bristol Mayers Squibb and Ono Pharma’s rival PD-1 inhibitor Opdivo, reaching $10 billion last year and Johnson & Johnson’s anti-CD38 multiple myeloma drug Darzalex reaching $9.7 billion.


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2)        Humira-autoimmune mega blockbuster, AbbVie’s bestselling drug for nine years, dethroned by Pfizer and BioNTech’s Comirnaty in 2021. Despite its U.S. loss of exclusivity and facing generic competition, it has managed to keep its position at the top, beating Bristol Myers Squibb’s Revlimid. 2023 Humira’s sales reached $14.4 billion, a 32% drop from the 2022’s $21.2billion (Q4 of 2023 Humira’s sales plunged almost by 41% to $3.3 billion globally).


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3)        Novo Nordisk, Ozempic in the obesity market. FDA originally approved as Type 2 diabetes treatment with increased popularity for its proven weight loss benefits, now branded obesity drug Wegovy. Novo’s semaglutide franchise (Rybelsus, Ozempic and Wegovy) generated total $21.1 billion (145.8 Danish kroner) almost 90% increase over 2022. 2023 sales of Ozempic reached $14 billion (95.7 Danish kroner), a constant yearly growth of 66%. To boost semaglutide production used in Ozempic and Wegovy, Novo plans to expand it manufacturing facilities in Kalundborg, Denmark.


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4)        Bristol Myers Squibb, Pfizer, Eliquis, for the treatment of non-valvular atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, with 2023 reported net product sales of $12 billion, up 4% year over year. Eliquis has been the top Xa inhibitor followed by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson, together subject to Medicare price adjustments from 2026.


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For 2024 Global Data predicts the GLP-1 drug class to climb to the top with products from PD-1 inhibitors forecasting annual sales up to $50 billion.




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