Do you ever wonder what the most commonly prescribed drugs are?  There are several ways to look at the most popular prescription drugs: you can look at the sales dollars, the number of units, or the number of prescriptions.  You can also look at retail only or hospital + retail (or hospital only). I prefer to look at the number of prescriptions - because from a pharmacist's perspective, a prescription is a prescription.  That's how most of their productivity is measured.  And for now, I just want to focus on retail prescriptions. Anyway, the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics is a company that collects sales data for pharmaceutical companies and their top twenty prescription drugs in the United States for 2013 were:

1.   Hydrocodone/acetaminophen
2.   Levothyroxine sodium
3.   Lisinopril
4.   Metoprolol
5.   Simvastatin
6.   Amlodipine
7.   Metformin
8.   Omeprazole
9.   Atorvastatin
10. Albuterol
11. Amoxicillin
12. Hydrochlorithiazide
13. Alprazolam
14. Azithromycin
15. Fluticasone
16. Furosemide
17. Gabapentin
18. Sertraline
19. Zolpidem
20. Tramadol

According to the report, their were 129 million prescriptions for hydrocodone in 2013.  I wonder if the new law rescheduling hydrocodone combination products as Schedule II will have any impact on the numbers for next year? 
If we look at top prescription drugs by sales, then you get a whole different list of drugs, and I will talk about that more in another post.

Interesting, don't you think?  We'll start diving into this list drug by drug shortly.....

EducationJoanna Simmon