Top 10 most common, most costly drugs


graph made of medicines

Drugs to treat Hepatitis C have cost the taxpayer more than $1 billion in 2018, and have topped the list of drugs ranked by cost to government in 2017-18

NPS MedicineWise has compiled the lists of top 10 drugs by defined daily dose, by prescription count and by cost to government (not including rebates) and published the results in Australian Prescriber.

Cholesterol lowering drugs and blood pressure drugs made up eight of the top ten most commonly used prescription drugs in Australia in 2018, but when it comes to cost to taxpayers, none of the most frequently used drugs are in the most expensive list.

Instead, that list was dominated by sofosbuvir and its combinations for the treatment of hepatitis C.

The lists of most commonly used and most expensive drugs are produced annually and are based on PBS and RPBS prescriptions.

These figures include prescriptions under the co-payment.

By DDD/1000 population/day:

1. atorvastatin                                                   71 .34

2. rosuvastatin                                                  54.02

3. perindopril                                                     51.55

4. amlodipine                                                     46.84

5. irbesartan                                                       33.29

6. candesartan                                                  33. 11

7. telmisartan                                                    30.89

8. esomeprazole                                              29.40

9. ramipril                                                            27.93

10. metformin                                                   24.89

By prescription count

1. rosuvastatin                                                  11,246,365

2. atorvastatin                                                   10,863,219

3. esomeprazole                                              9,442,144

4. pantoprazole                                                7,112,063

5. perindopril                                                     6,466,954

6. cefalexin                                                         5,458,659

7. amoxicillin                                                      5,253,018

8. metformin                                                     5,006,664

9. amoxicillin + clavulanic acid                       4,680,931

10. escitalopram                                               4,187,180

 

By cost to Government (not including rebates) – not all of these drugs have been allocated a DDI

1. sofosbuvir + velpatasvir           $695,729,924                      31,079 scripts    

2. aflibercept                                     $324,696,598                      255,264

3. adalimumab                                  $322,733,592                      229,719          41.48 DDD/1000 pop/day

4. ledipasvir + sofosbuvir              $244,917,648                      10,990

5. ranibizumab                                  $218,702,078                      174,627

6. nivolumab                                      $ 215,410,197                     43,215

7. sofosbuvir                                      $204,520,430                      10,451              0.99 DDD/1000 pop/day

8. denosumab                                   $189,073 508                      673,160           44.26 DDD/1000 pop/day

9. trastuzumab                                  $169,958,330                      55,980

10. pembrolizumab                         $148,956,436                      17,631

 

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