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Dec 11, 2012

Top 14 Abused Prescription Drugs

Should you just say no to these medicines?

Top 14 Abused Prescription Drugs

Unfortunately, prescription drug abuse is common—for some drugs much more than others. Here, GEN has compiled the 14 that top the list. [Andrew S. - Fotolia.com]

  • #7. Lunesta® (eszopiclone)

    Maker of brand-name drug: Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma

    2011 sales: $511 million (¥42.1 billion)2

    2010 sales: $654 million (¥53.9 billion)2

    % Change: -21.9%

    Indication: Insomnia in adults

    Year(s) of launch/Patent status: Launched 2005 by Sepracor; patent to expire 2014.

  • #6. Adderall XR (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine)

    Maker of brand-name drug: Shire

    2011 sales: $533 million

    2010 sales: $361 million

    % Change: 47.6%

    Indication: Once-daily central nervous system stimulant for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Year(s) of launch/Patent status: Launched 2001; patent expired 2009. Authorized generic versions entered market 2009; generic versions available from Eon, Ranbaxy, and Teva. On June 25, 2012, Actavis received FDA approval for generic extended-release formulations of all available strengths of Adderall.

  • #5. Ritalin / Focalin (methylphenidate HCl)

    Maker of brand-name drug: Novartis

    2011 sales: $550 million

    2010 sales: $464 million

    % Change: 18.5%

    Indication: Central nervous system stimulant for treatment of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy

    Year(s) of launch/Patent status: Launched 1948 by predecessor company Ciba; patent expired 1967. Authorized generic versions available.

  • #4. Zoloft (sertraline HCl)

    Maker of brand-name drug: Pfizer

    2011 sales: $573 million

    2010 sales: $532 million

    % Change: 7.7%

    Indication: Major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and social anxiety disorder; OCD in children and adolescents aged 6–17 years

    Year(s) of launch/Patent status: Launched 1991; Patent expired 2006. Authorized generic versions available.

  • #3. Ambien (zolpidem tartrate)

    Maker of brand-name drug: Sanofi (also sold as Ambien CR, Stilnox, and Myslee)

    2011 sales: $635 million (€490 million)2

    2010 sales: $1.062 billion (€819 million)2

    % Change: -40.2% reported basis; -41.4% at constant exchange rates

    Indication: Insomnia characterized by difficulties with sleep onset and/or sleep maintenance

    Year(s) of launch/Patent status: Original formulation launched 1993; patent expired 2007. Ambien CR (extended-release formulation) launched 2005; patent to expire 2020. Authorized generic versions available; 13 generic versions have been approved by FDA including one by Sanofi.

  • #2. Concerta (methylphenidate HCl)

    Maker of brand-name drug: Janssen Pharmaceuticals

    2011 sales: $1.268 billion

    2010 sales: $1.319 billion

    % Change: -3.9%

    Indication: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as part of a total treatment program that may include counseling or other therapies.

    Year(s) of launch/Patent status: Launched with Alza 2000; patent ruled invalid 2011. Generic versions available from Impax, and Watson, with Impax and Teva planning to launch additional generic versions by July 14 after both settled patent litigation Johnson & Johnson.

  • #1. OxyContin (oxycodone HCl)

    Maker of brand-name drug: Purdue Pharma

    2011 sales: $2.8 billion

    2010 sales: $3.1 billion

    % Change: -9.7%

    Indication: Moderate to severe pain who require around-the-clock opioids for an extended time

    Year(s) of launch/Patent status: Original formulation launched 1996; patent expires 2013. New crush-resistant formulation launched 2010; patent expires 2025. Authorized generic versions available.


Readers' Comments

Posted 12/12/2012 by katherine cane

What a brilliant idea to have listed
the most used drugs in America.
Valium and Vicodin take the cake.
This is a tremendously valuable addition to GEN. I just saw the article and got totally immersed in the story. What a pleasant surprise
I enjoyed voting in the polls.

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