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2012 US medicine sales show shifts by drug type

The Associated Press

U.S. sales levels for many widely used drug categories shifted significantly in 2012, with sales in some classes declining sharply due to an infusion of cheaper new generic pills. Other categories grew, mainly with the introduction of new, generally expensive medicines.

Here's a look at U.S. sales of the top-grossing drug categories in 2012:

DRUG CATEGORY 2012 spending Change from 2011

Cancer medicines $25.9 billion Up 7.8 percent

Mental illness $23.5 billion Down 21 percent

Respiratory disorders $22.1 billion Up 1.9 percent

Diabetes medicines $22 billion Up 7.1 percent

Painkillers $18.2 billion Up 1.6 percent

Cholesterol/lipid drugs $16.9 billion Down 20.6 percent

Immune disorders $14.8 billion Up 17.9 percent

High blood pressure $13.6 billion Down 3 percent

HIV/AIDS medicines $11.7 billion Up 12.1 percent

Attention deficit disorder $10.4 billion Up 13.1 percent

Ulcer medicines $10 billion Down 4.7 percent

Multiple sclerosis drugs $8.9 billion Up 17.8 percent

Antibiotics $7.9 billion Down 14.8 percent

Nervous system disorders $7.2 billion up 3.7 percent

Vaccines $6.8 billion Up 7.2 percent


Source: IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.