The drugs big pharma depends on the most

Blockbuster business.
Blockbuster business.
Image: Reuters/Jim Young
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12 of the companies that produced the 25 best selling drugs in the world last year got more than 10% of their revenue from one blockbuster.

Two of them, Celgene and AbbVie, got more than 60% of their sales from one treatment. For Celgene, it was Revlimid, a drug for blood cancers. AbbVie, which was spun off from parent Abbott Laboratories in 2013, gets most of its sales from its anti-inflammatory drug Humira, the top grossing drug in the world.

It’s risky to depend on a single drug for so long. But these two companies don’t have too much to worry about for now. Celgene’s US exclusivity on Revlimid will last until 2027. And though Humira’s patent expires at the end of 2016, it is a difficult to replicate biologic drug that likely won’t face serious generic competition for some years.

Next on the list is Sovaldi, Gilead’s controversially expensive hepatitis treatment, which accounts for more than 40% of the company’s sales.

Here’s the full list of the 25 best-selling drugs in the world. It shows how much they contributed to individual company sales. Some drugs are repeated if ownership and revenue are shared:

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