In 2008, 25 percent of all drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration were considered specialty drugs—what the FDA calls new molecular entities—and that number only has gone up since. Now, more than 50 percent of all drugs approved by the FDA are specialty drugs.
And, according to Reuters, the top 3 selling pharmaceuticals in 2014 will be specialty or oncology drugs, topping mainstays such as Lipitor, Plavix and Advair.
Take a look at what are the best selling specialty drugs today, and what they are heading for.
(Photo credit: Keerati)
2010 sales: $7.4 billion
Projected 2014 sales: $7.6 billion
Remicade—called Infliximab—treats autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis. It's injected through an IV in a clinic or hospital setting.
2010 sales: $7.1 billion
Projected 2014 sales: $8 billion
Enbrel is used to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis, and to prevent joint damage caused by these conditions.
2010 sales: $6.8 billion
Projected 2014 sales: $8.5 billion
Used to help autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, plaque psoriasis and Crohn's disease, Humira's sales are soaring, and the injectable is projected to be the No. 2 selling drug in 2014.
2010 sales: $6.7 billion
Projected 2014 sales: $8.9 billion
This cancer drug is projected to take not only the top specialty pharmacy drug spot in 2014, but the top pharmacy drug in general. In 2010, Lipitor occupied the No. 1 spot, with $11.7 billion in sales.
2010 sales: $6.1 billion
Projected 2014 sales: $7.4 billion
Rituximab was approved by the FDA in 1997 to treat B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas resistant to other chemotherapy regimens. It’s also used to fight leukemia and some autoimmune diseases.