The 15 All-Time Best-Selling Prescription Drugs

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Most people may not know it, but only a handful out of every thousand drugs that begin development ever make it to the final stages of trials – and not all of those are approved.

Still, the low odds of success are worth it to drug companies. See, what many people may not fully appreciate is how much revenue one of these approved drugs can rack up in just a few years. A so-called “blockbuster” drug can be worth at least a billion dollars. In some cases, treatments can be worth tens of billions. And in a couple cases, drugs have produced more than $100 billion in revenues over their extremely useful lives.

With that as the backdrop, here’s a rundown of the drug market’s 15 most successful drugs in terms of revenue. Some of them still are in their prime and driving strong revenues for their creators, while others are not. But all of these drugs have been game changers for their respective companies, and shaped the lives of millions of people.


Data is as of Nov. 30, 2017. Click on ticker-symbol links in each slide for current share prices and more.

James Brumley
Contributing Writer,
James Brumley is a former stock broker, registered investment adviser and Director of Research for an options-focused newsletter. He's now primarily a freelance writer, tapping more than a decade's worth of broad experience to help investors get more out of the market. With a background in technical analysis as well as fundamental analysis, James touts stock-picking strategies that combine the importance of company performance with the power of stock-trade timing. He believes this dual approach is the only way an investor has a shot at consistently beating the market. James' work has appeared at several websites including Street Authority, Motley Fool, Kapitall and Investopedia. When not writing as a journalist, James works on his book explaining his multi-pronged approach to investing.