With all the lustful TV commercials, you might think it's the drugs for erectile dysfunction that make the hearts of drug company execs go pitter-patter. But it's medications that treat heart disease and high blood pressure that most excite them. The following were the top 10 best-selling prescription drugs in 2005.
10: Effexor (Wyeth)
An antidepressant, Effexor had $3.8 billion in sales in 2005 and an annual growth rate of 1.2 percent.
9: Prevacid (Abbott Labs/Takeda Pharmaceutical)
A popular drug that treats heartburn, Prevacid had global sales of $4 billion in 2005 and an annual growth rate of 0.9 percent.
8: Risperdal (Janssen)
This is the world's most commonly prescribed atypical antipsychotic medication. At $4 billion, its sales were lower than Zyprexa's, but it had a much larger annual growth rate at 12.6 percent.
7: Zyprexa (Eli Lilly)
Used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Zyprexa is Eli Lilly's top-selling drug. In 2005, it had global sales of $4.7 billion. However, unlike other drugs on the list, Zyprexa experienced a significant decrease in annual growth -- a dismal 26.8 percent.
6: Norvasc (Pfizer)
The second biggest seller for manufacturer Pfizer, Norvasc is used to treat high blood pressure. It had global sales of $5 billion in 2005 and an annual growth rate of 2.5 percent.
5: Zocor (Merck)
This is another medication used to treat high cholesterol and prevent heart disease. In 2005, Zocor had global sales of $5.3 billion, and its annual growth wasn't shabby either, at 10.7 percent.
4: Seretide/Advair (GlaxoSmithKline)
Although it's ranked No. 4, this asthma inhaler is in the No. 1 spot when it comes to annual growth. GlaxoSmithKline must have been breathless with its 19 percent annual growth rate. Sales for Seretide/Advair were just slightly lower than those for Nexium, coming in at $5.6 billion.
3: Nexium (AstraZeneca)
You probably know this drug as "the purple pill," and its sales numbers certainly merit the royal hue. Nexium, prescribed for heartburn and acid reflux, had sales of $5.7 billion, with an annual growth of 16.7 percent.
2: Plavix (Bristol-Myers Squibb/Sanofi-Aventis)
This medication is used to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Although it has risen to the second spot on the list, its sales were a mere $5.9 billion, less than half those of Lipitor. However, Plavix had 2.5 times the annual growth of Lipitor.
1: Lipitor (Pfizer)
Consistently ranking No. 1, Lipitor holds the title by a wide margin. Its annual sales of $12.9 billion were more than twice those of the next drug on the list. Lipitor treats high cholesterol, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
Helen Davies, Marjorie Dorfman, Mary Fons, Deborah Hawkins, Martin Hintz, Linnea Lundgren, David Priess, Julia Clark Robinson, Paul Seaburn, Heidi Stevens, and Steve Theunissen