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The 50 Most Popular Drugs of 2017

Prices paid by U.S. consumers for prescription drugs rise less than anticipated in a year where shopping for medications paid off

Top brand drug prices outpaced generics in 2017 increasing 10% vs 5%, respectively. The number was just under the 11.6% forecasted by survey data.

The data is based on cash prices paid at the pharmacy for those without insurance, or form whom insurance was not available due to a formulary exclusion.

Popular diet drug phentermine paced the field as the most popular generic for cash payers while at the same time seeing an average decrease in cost of -13%. But drug price decreases were more of the exception than the rule in 2017 as a prescription version of omeprazole increased 91% in the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, two of the top five brand drugs hailed from the erectile dysfunction (ED) category; Cialis and Viagra up 9% and 12% since January 2017.

ED drugs and diet pills, like phentermine, are typically excluded from most prescription drug plan formularies so it is not unusual for them to appear as top drugs.

Over 30 million Americans lack prescription drug coverage including those with medical insurance that do not have a drug benefit. The lowest medication costs can translate into hundreds or thousands of dollars each year for people taking prescription drug, so the right tool is important.

And shopping for discounts was an excellent money-saving strategy. On AxiaRx.com a savvy phentermine shopper could have reviewed the drug prices on its website in December 2017 and paid only $7.28 for 30 Phentermine 37.5 tablets while some of the most popular pharmacies were charging over $38 for the same prescription, a 400% savings.

2017 top 50 brand drug list.

Top 10 Most Popular Generic Drugs in 2017

  1. PHENTERMINE (brand version is Apidex-p)
    1-year price change: -13%

    Phentermine is an appetite suppressant that, when used in conjunction with a doctor-approved diet and exercise plan, is designed to aid in weight loss.

  2. VITAMIN D (commonly known as vitamin D2)
    1-year price change: -2%

    More commonly known as Vitamin D, ergocalciferol is very popular as a maintenance medication to treat Hypoparathyroidism.

  3. ATORVASTATIN (brand is Lipitor)
    1-year price change: 12%

    Atorvastatin is an HMG - COA Reductase Inhibitor which are a class of drugs most commonly referred to as statins and are used for lowering cholesterol.

  4. METFORMIN (brands include Glucophage, Glumetza among others)
    1-year price change: 13%

    Metformin is a biguanide class drug which is used in prediabetic and diabetes patients to help sugar absorb into muscle tissue.

  5. AMLODIPINE (brand is Norvasc)
    1-year price change: -2%

    Amlodipine is part of a broad class of drugs known as calcium channel blocker used to treat hypertension.

  6. AMOXICILLIN (brand is Amoxil)
    1-year price change: -13%

    It is a popular penicillin antibiotic, commonly prescribed by emergency room doctors, family practice physicians and dentists and is used to treat bacterial infection.

  7. PHENOBARBITAL (brand is Luminal)
    1-year price change: -25%

    Phenobarbital is a barbiturate which has many uses including sedation, to control anxiety, as an anti-convulsant or sleeping pill.

  8. LISINOPRIL (brands include Zestril)
    1-year price change: 1%

    Lisinopril is an ACE inhibitor that treats hypertension and has been around for years. It was said to cause a cough in a small number of patients taking it. A new class, which some called ACEII but really goes by the name Angiotensin II receptor blockers, is often used as a replacement in these patients.

  9. OMEPRAZOLE (brand is Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec)
    1-year price change: 91%

    Omeprazole is a popular over the counter (OTC) drug in a class of drugs (Proton-Pump Inhibitors) that remedy stomach acid. Some patients, however, require a longer acting version, Omeprazole DR 20, which is available only as a prescription. The “DR” stands for delayed release.

  10. FERROUS SULFATE (brand drugs include Feosol Original)
    1-year price change: -9%

    Ferrous Sulfate is an iron supplement used to treat deficiencies and anemia, often during pregnancy but also in men in the case of an internal bleeding lesion.

  11. FOLIC ACID
  12. ESCITALOPRAM
  13. METOPROLOL
  14. IBUPROFEN
  15. ZOLPIDEM
  16. AZITHROMYCIN
  17. FLUOXETINE
  18. BENZONATATE
  19. LORATADINE
  20. GABAPENTIN
  21. CETIRIZINE
  22. LOSARTAN
  23. ALPRAZOLAM
  24. PREDNISONE
  25. TRAMADOL
  26. ONDANSETRON
  27. CLONAZEPAM
  28. ASPIRIN
  29. OXYCODONE ACETAMINOPHEN
  30. PANTOPRAZOLE
  31. CYCLOBENZAPRINE
  32. SERTRALINE
  33. TRAZODONE
  34. LEVOTHYROXINE
  35. HYDROCHLOROTHIAZIDE
  36. FLUTICASONE
  37. MAGNESIUM
  38. FINASTERIDE
  39. HYDROCODON ACETAMINOPHEN
  40. MONTELUKAST
  41. CYANOCOBALAMIN
  42. SIMVASTATIN
  43. SULFAMETHOXAZOLE
  44. CLOPIDOGREL
  45. ACETAMINOPHEN
  46. METHYLPREDNISOLONE
  47. CEPHALEXIN
  48. MELOXICAM
  49. TAMSULOSIN
  50. CHLORDIAZEPOXIDE
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