Statins toppled from costliest spot


For the first time in 20 years, statins have not topped the list of most costly drugs to government.

Australian Prescriber’s latest issue lists the top 10 drugs used in Australia, by daily dose, prescription counts and cost to government.

It found that the most costly drug in Australia is the immune system modifying drug adalimumab, which cost taxpayers more than $300 million in 2014-5.

Statins were still around, however, with rosuvastatin coming in second to adalimumab in terms of cost.

Atorvastatin is the top drug by both daily dose and prescription counts, with rosuvastatin coming in second for daily dose and third by prescription count.

However atorvastatin dropped out of the top 10 by cost to government.

Two injectable drugs to treat age-related macular degeneration appeared for the first time in the list of most costly drugs. Aflibercept cost nearly $193 million, while ranibizumab cost nearly $180 million.

Proton pump inhibitors (for reducing stomach acid production), ACE inhibitors (for high blood pressure and heart failure), and medicines for diabetes and blood pressure also appeared on the lists.

 

Top 10 by DDD/1000 pop/day:

 1000 pop/day

1. atorvastatin

54.65

2. rosuvastatin

39.47

3. paracetamol

34.14

4. perindopril

33.80

5. amlodipine

30.08

6. irbesartan

27.33

7. esomeprazole

25.27

8. candesartan

23.41

9. ramipril

21.62

10. telmisartan

18.84

 

Top 10 drugs by prescription count

1. atorvastatin

7 787 189

2. esomeprazole

7 170 908

3. rosuvastatin

7 070 240

4. paracetamol

6 446 680

5. pantoprazole

4 489 551

6. perindopril

4 015 432

7. metformin

3 589 937

8. fluticasone and salmeterol

3 1 4 7 1 1 5

9. irbesartan

2 992 442

10. salbutamol

2 976 106

 

Top 10 drugs by cost to government

 1. adalimumab

31 1 616 305

2. rosuvastatin

206 589 091

3. aflibercept

192 839 767

4. ranibizumab

179 612 4 1 7

5. fluticasone and salmeterol

175 215 964

6. esomeprazole

174 179 985

7. etanercept

164 075 1 3 3

8. rituximab

156 563 805

9. insulin glargine

142 760 966

10. fingolimod

134 752 870

 

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