Note: This feature on the best-selling pharmaceuticals of 2023 will be updated regularly as new data becomes available. Stay tuned for our ongoing coverage of the pharma sector’s sales dynamics.In 2023, as the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic began to loosen, the pharma sector returned to relying on immunology and oncology as sales drivers. So far this year, the two segments are on track to be the strongest in the pharma landscape. In the first half of 2023, the immunology, oncology, and infectious diseases domains drove sales of $35.23 billion, $64.41 billion, and $39.95 billion, respectively, based on a review of financial data from 17 Big Pharma companies.
Contrasting the boom of prior years, 2023 has seen a pronounced dip in the appetite for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. For instance, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine generated roughly $6.1 billion in the first half of 2023. Conversely, the Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine by Moderna generated about $2.1 billion in sales over the same period. A far cry from the commanding figures seen in prior years. For instance, Pfizer/BioNTech’s Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine generated $59 billion in revenue in 2021. Sales in 2022 were about $55.9 billion. Overall, the once-dominant COVID-19 product segment experienced some of the steepest losses in the first two quarters of 2023. Products such as Merck’s Lagevrio (molnupiravir) and Pfizer’s Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir/ritonavir) also witnessed sharp declines in sales.
While the pharmaceutical industry saw varied growth across different segments, the revenue for the 241 drugs we reviewed increased slightly overall — ticking up 0.78% from Q1 to Q2. Still, several drugs bucked the trend with sizable growth. For instance, Pfizer and BMS’s cardiovascular drug Eliquis saw a decline of 51.29% from the first to the second quarter. In contrast, AbbVie’s immunology drug Humira continued its strong presence in the market, growing by 13.30%. Additionally, Sanofi and Regeneron’s eczema drug Dupixent was up 10.70% in the same time frame. Close behind was Merck’s oncology powerhouse, Keytruda, which registered an 8.21% increase.
In terms of overall bestsellers in the first half of 2023, Merck’s oncology powerhouse, Keytruda, led the pack with sales of $12.066 billion. Pfizer and BioNTech’s Comirnaty followed with $6.111 billion in collective revenue. AbbVie’s Humira and Sanofi and Regeneron’s Dupixent also reported strong performances with $7.553 billion and $5.2648 billion, respectively. Additionally, Janssen’s Stelara and Gilead’s Biktarvy also stood out with sales surpassing $5.043 billion and $4.777 billion, respectively.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery, Immunology, Infectious Disease, Oncology