Best Selling Oncology Drugs 2016

The top-ten oncology drugs are identified on the basis of revenues in 2015 and accounted for 36% of the total oncology drugs market.

The list is headed by Avastin, an oncology product manufactured by the Swiss giant Roche.  The market is consolidated by six companies including Roche, Celgene, Novartis, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson and Novartis. In terms of revenues the list is topped by Roche with 47% (including three products) in the top-ten list. This is followed by Novartis with four products and 25% share in the list.

Top-ten oncology products:

Best Selling Oncology Drugs 2016 - Igeahub - Luca Dezzani

Best Selling Oncology Drugs 2016 - Igeahub - Luca Dezzani


Used for the treatment of advanced colorectal, breast, lung, kidney, cervical and ovarian cancer, and relapsed glioblastoma. Demand for Avastin was strong, with sales growth in all regions. US sales grew (+8%), Europe sales grew (+4%) due to increasing treatment of ovarian, colorectal, lung and cervical cancer. The US is the largest market for the drug, accounting for approximately 47% of its global sales. The International region growth of 15% was driven mainly by phasing of deliveries to the public sector and approval of new indications.


Herceptin sales grew 10% with continued strong growth in the US (+15%) resulting in treatment for both early and advanced breast cancer along with gastric cancer. In U.S. Herceptin displayed a positive growth of 15%. In Asia-Pacific, the main drivers of growth of 21% resulted from significant activities to ensure patient access to the medicine in China.


Sales increased by 16% in 2015 compared to 2014, primarily due to the result of its indication being expanded to newly diagnosed multiple myeloma in the U.S. and Europe. Increases in market penetration, volume increases, primarily driven by increased duration of use and market share gains also contributed to the growth.


It is used for treating non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), follicular lymphoma (FL) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as well as certain types of ANCA-associated vasculitis. The product sales were 5% higher, driven primarily by growth in the U.S. (+7%) and accounts for more than half of the drug’s global sales followed by Europe. The International region grew 4%, driven by growth in the Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa sub-region and public sector sales in Latin America.


It is one of the largest selling oncology drug manufactured by Novartis. It is approved for treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia, a rare form of cancer, and gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST). Gleevac accounts for approximately 24% of the company’s oncology portfolio, and 15% of its pharmaceutical offering. Generic competition in Japan and some EU countries has resulted in declined growth. The company licensed to a subsidiary of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries the right to market a generic version of Gleevec in the U.S. in 2016.


Used in the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) for patients with non-squamous cell histology. The decrease in revenues has resulted from decreased demand with lower realized prices, unfavourable impact of foreign exchange rates and partially offset by increased volume. Its patent expired in Japan and major European countries in December 2015, while the US patent will expire in January 2017. Furthermore the sales are likely to be hampered by the generics from competitors in Europe and Japan.


The J&J manufactured product is an oral medicine used for treating metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer in men in combination with prednisone. It is also deployed for treating prostate cancer, the second most common male cancer type in the U.S. Zytiga’s sales grew in the U.S. due to market growth and strong growth in Asia and Latin America but was offset by lower sales in Europe due to competition and share decline.


It is another product for Novartis portfolio used for treatment for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). The drug is approved in more than 110 countries for treatment of chronic and accelerated phase CML in adult patients resistant or intolerant to at least other older therapies. The drug grew 16% in annual sales in 2015.


Sandostatin is used for treating acromegaly, carcinoid tumours and other types of gastrointestinal and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours. It has been approved in 50+ countries for treating patients suffering from advanced neuroendocrine tumours of the mid-gut or unknown primary location.


It is the last drug in the top-ten oncology drug segment list due to lowest revenues. The drug is accounted for 10% annual growth rate. It is used to treat multiple conditions including kidney cancers, pancreatic cancer, rare childhood brain tumors, and benign tumors caused by tuberous sclerosis.

Sources: Annual reports, SEC filings, company websites, FiercePharma,, IMS, Forbes and Medscape.

Best Selling Oncology Drugs 2016 last edit: 2017-01-27T14:19:14+00:00 da Luca

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