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Keytruda Forecasted to Be the Top Drug by Annual Revenue in 2023, says GlobalData

Merck & Co and Otsuka Holdings’ immuno-oncology therapy Keytruda (pembrolizumab) is projected to be the best-selling drug by annual revenue in 2023, earning an impressive $22.2bn by 2025, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Following Keytruda, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and Pfizer's Eliquis (apixaban), oral anticoagulant, will be the second best-selling drug out of the top ten, with annual sales of $18.7bn by 2025.

Keshalini Sabaratnam, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “Keytruda is expected to overtake AbbVie and Eisai Co’s anti-inflammatory drug Humira (adalimumab), which is currently the world’s top-selling drug. Emerging as an effective treatment for a range of cancers, Keytruda has developed into Merck & Co’s biggest product since its Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2015. It has received market approvals for over 20 oncology indications in the US, and is continuing to expand into new indications and markets globally.”

Strong 2018 sales from BMS and Pfizer’s Eliquis are expected to continue, with worldwide sales reaching $18.7bn by 2025. Revlimid is expected to occupy third place, although its worldwide sales will be affected by generic versions, which are set to hit the US market in 2022.

Sabaratnam adds: “The checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy Opdivo, indicated for cancer, is in fourth place and will continue to have strong sales. AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson’s Imbruvica is in fifth place with sales expected to reach $11.9bn by 2025. Imbruvica has received FDA approval for multiple oncology indications and chronic graft-versus-host-disease.”

Humira is forecast to fall to sixth place by 2025. Humira’s decline is expected due to anticipated biosimilar competition in the EU and US.

Gilead’s Biktarvy (bictegravir sodium + emtricitabine + tenofovir alafenamide), which was approved by the FDA in 2018 to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is forecast to climb to seventh place by 2025, with expected sales of $10bn. The breast cancer drug Ibrance (palbociclib), ranked eighth, has emerged as a big earner for Pfizer, which is testing the drug on several other cancers.

Sabaratnam concludes: "Johnson & Johnson and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma’s Stelara (ustekinumab) and Eli Lilly and Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma’s Trulicity (dulaglutide) are ranked ninth and tenth. Stelara, an auto-immune biologic, has become a key earner for Johnson & Johnson, and the diabetes drug Trulicity is expected to enjoy strong sales momentum over the forecast period 2018-2025."

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Last Updated: 07-Oct-2019