Overpatented, Overpriced

America's Bestselling
Drugs of 2019

Drug Total patent applications # Patents Issued % Filed after FDA approval Duration of patent protection Patents filed in U.S. vs. Europe Patents filed in U.S. vs. Japan % Price increase
2014-2019
>10% Medicare
annual price increase
>5% Medicaid
annual price increase
Top 15 Medicare total spending (rank) Medicare spending per beneficiary On U.S. market since Generic / biosimilar approved by FDA (year) Generic / biosimilar on the U.S. market since (year) Company Condition(s) Treated Drug Type
Humira 257 130 90% 39 3.3x 4.1x 69% ✔ 17% ✔ 16% ✔ 6 $42,533 2002 ✔ 2016 - AbbVie Arthritis Biologic
Eliquis 49 31 37% 33.8 2.7x 3.1x 58% ✔ 18% ✔ 8% ✔ 1 $3,031 2012 - - Pfizer/BMS Stroke/Embolism Small Molecule
Keytruda 129 86 50% 34.6 1.0x 1.2x 147% ✔ 23% - - $51,032 2014 - - Merck Cancer Biologic
Revlimid 196 109 74% 40.4 2.6x 2.6x 34% ✔ 14% ✔ 9% ✔ 2 $103,028 2005 - - BMS/Celgene Multiple Myeloma Small Molecule
Imbruvica 165 88 55% 29.2 3.6x 3.9x 42% ✔ 19% - ✔ 9 $85,128 2013 - - AbbVie Cancer Small Molecule
Opodivo 84 44 70% 35.1 2.2x 2.0x 167% ✔ 19% ✔ 26% - $57,446 2014 - - BMS Cancer Biologic
Eylea 89 58 53% 39.7 3.2x 4.9x 16% - - - $9,602 2011 - - Bayer/Regeneron Macular Degeneration Biologic
Avastin 222 75 80% 41.6 2.4x 2.1x 21% - - - $29,687 2004 ✔ 2017 ✔ 2019 Roche Cancer Biologic
Enbrel 68 39 76% 47.5 2.1x 2.6x 84% ✔ 17% ✔ 14% - $39,566 1998 ✔ 2016 - Amgen Arthritis Biologic
Xarelto 51 32 41% 33.5 1.5x 1.6x 71% ✔ 18% ✔ 9% ✔ 4 $3,197 2011 - - Johnson&Johnson Blood Clots Small Molecule
Average 131 69.2 63% 37.5 2.5x 2.8x 71% $42,425 2008.4

Numbers in pink font indicate above the average for the 10 drugs

  • Patent data as of August 2020
  • Data on pricing changes from 2014-19 were obtained from IQVIA monthly NSP prices during that period. These represent total spending on prescription medicines from wholesaler transactions and include all on-invoice discounts, but no off-invoice discounts or rebates
  • Data on prices and spending for Medicare and Medicaid were obtained from the CMS ‘Drug Spending Database’ and reflect data from 2014-2018
  • Medicare price increases are based on average annual changes in the price per beneficiary over the period 2014-2018 and spending per beneficiary is for 2018
  • Medicaid price increases are based on average changes in the price per claim over the period 2014-2018
  • Humira and Humira Pen are combined and reflect the total for Medicare and Medicaid spending rank; annual price increases reflect the average of the two product sub-types

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