The annual publication of the top 10 subsidised drugs appears in the December edition of Australian Prescriber. Statins (cholesterol-lowering medicines) top the lists again.
More than 19 million prescriptions for the statins atorvastatin, rosuvastatin and simvastatin were filled under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme between July 2013 and June 2014.
Rosuvastatin replaced atorvastatin at the top of the list for the most costly prescribed medicine, costing the government over $284 million for over 7.6 million prescriptions. The most prescribed medicine was atorvastatin, which topped the list at over 8.6 million prescriptions.
Adalimumab (an immune-system-modifying medicine prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease) was the second most expensive drug, costing the government $270 million for around 152,500 prescriptions. Etanercept, a medicine for severe arthritis, cost the government $153 million for around 87,000 prescriptions.
In addition to statins, proton pump inhibitors (for reducing stomach acid production), pain relievers, ACE inhibitors (for high blood pressure and heart failure), and medicines for asthma, diabetes and blood pressure also appeared on the lists.