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Projected Sales in 2020 of World’s Top Ten Oncology Drugs

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN



UPDATED on 8/29/2020

The top 10-selling cancer drugs generated a combined $63.58 billion in sales in 2018, up 17.5% from $54.126 billion in 2017. Seven of this year’s top 10 showed year-over-year increases in sales, of which six enjoyed double-digit gains.

Ranking #15 through #11 among cancer best-sellers are Takeda/Johnson & Johnson’s Velcade® (bortezomib); Incyte/Novartis’ Jakafi®/Jakavi® (ruxolitinib); Genentech (Roche)’s Perjeta (pertuzumab); Merck & Co.’s Gardasil/Gardasil 9; and J&J’s Zytiga® (abiraterone acetate). The treatments generated between $2.274 billion and $3.498 billion last year.


10. Xtandi® (enzalutamide)

Astellas Pharma and Pfizer

Type of Drug: Androgen receptor inhibitor
2018 Sales: $3.624 billion (¥327.8 billion [$2.925 billion Astellas + $0.699 billion Pfizer)
2017 Sales: $3.116 billion (¥282.8 billion [$2.526 billion Astellas + $0.590 billion Pfizer)
% Change: 16.3%


9. Ibrance® (palbociclib)


Type of Drug: Kinase inhibitor
2018 Sales: $4.118 billion 1
2017 Sales: $3.126 billion 1
% Change: 31.7%


8. Neulasta/Peglasta (pegfilgrastim)

Amgen and Kyowa Hakko Kirin

Type of Drug: Leukocyte growth factor
2018 Sales: $4.684 billion ($4.475 billion Amgen + $0.209 billion [¥23.1 billion] Kyowa Hakko Kirin)
2017 Sales: $4.716 billion ($4.534 billion Amgen + $0.182 billion [¥20.1 billion] Kyowa Hakko Kirin)
% Change: -0.7%


7. Imbruvica® (ibrutinib) 

Pharmacyclics (AbbVie) and Johnson & Johnson (J&J)

Type of Drug: Kinase inhibitor
2018 Sales: $6.205 billion ($3.590 billion Pharmacyclics [AbbVie] + $2.615 billion J&J)
2017 Sales: $4.466 billion ($2.573 billion Pharmacyclics [AbbVie] + $1.893 billion J&J)
% Change: 38.9%


6. Rituxan®/MabThera (rituximab)

Genentech (Roche) and Biogen 2

Type of Drug: CD20-directed cytolytic antibody
2018 Sales: $6.750 billion [CHF 6.752 billion] 2
2017 Sales: $7.298 billion [CHF 7.300 billion] 2
% Change: -7.5%


5. Avastin


Type of Drug: Vascular endothelial growth factor–directed antibody
2018 Sales: $6.822 billion (CHF 6.849 billion)
2017 Sales: $6.662 billion (CHF 6.688 billion)
% Change: 2.4%


4. Herceptin

Roche (Genentech)

Type of Drug: HER2/neu receptor antagonist
2018 Sales: $6.951 billion (CHF 6.982 billion)
2017 Sales: $6.983 billion (CHF 7.014 billion)
% Change: -0.5%


3. Keytruda

Merck & Co.

Type of Drug: Programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1)-blocking antibody
2018 Sales: $7.171 billion
2017 Sales: $3.809 billion
% Change: 88.3%


2. Opdivo

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and Ono Pharmaceutical

Type of Drug: Programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) blocking antibody
2018 Sales: $7.570 billion ($6.735 billion BMS + $835 million [¥92.5 billion] Ono)
2017 Sales: $5.763 billion ($4.948 billion BMS + $815 million [¥90.2 billion] Ono)
% Change: 31.4%


1. Revlimid


Type of Drug: Thalidomide analogue
2018 Sales: $9.685 billion
2017 Sales: $8.187 billion
% Change: 18.3%


1. Despite the year-over-year sales increase, Pfizer said international Ibrance revenues were negatively impacted by a one-time price adjustment to full-year 2017 revenues related to finalizing reimbursement agreements in certain developed Europe markets
2. Biogen receives a share of U.S. pre-tax profits on sales of Rituxan, which is marketed by Genentech (Roche). Sales figures do not include U.S. pre-tax profits generated by Biogen, since the company only discloses those profits combined with profits from Gazyva® (obinutuzumab), and does not break out each product separately. Biogen reported combined Rituxan-Gazyva pre-tax profits of $1.432 billion for 2018, and $1.316 billion for 2017.





UPDATED on 1/17/2017

The top 15 best-selling cancer drugs in 2022

All told, by 2022, the top 15 cancer drugs are expected to collectively make almost $90 billion in sales. To put that in perspective, that represents about one-fourth of the entire U.S. pharma market in 2014, according to QuintilesIMS data. It’s also bigger than pharma’s haul in Japan or China that year.

It will likely be no revelation that three drugs among the top six on our list—provided courtesy of EvaluatePharma and Chempetitive—come from the highly touted PD-1/PD-L1 or checkpoint inhibitor class.

The top 15 best-selling cancer drugs in 2022



Projected Sales in 2020 of World’s Top Ten Oncology Drugs


Top Oncology Medicines

Projected Sales in 2020

Revlimid (Celgene)

Generic Name: Lenalidomide

$10,110 Million


Imbruvica (AbbVie/J&J)

Generic Name: Ibrutinib

$8,213 Million


Avastin (Roche)

Generic Name: Bevacizumab

$ 6,733 Million


Opdivo (BMS)

Generic Name: Nivolumab

$ 6,201 Million


Xtandi (Medivation & Astellas)

Generic Name: Enzalutamide

$5,700 Million


Rituxan (Roche)

Generic Name: Rituximab

$5,407 Million


Ibrance (Pfizer)

Generic Name: Palbociclib

$4,722 Million


Perjeta (Roche)

Generic Name: Pertuzumab

$4,669 Million


Herceptin (Roche)

Generic Name: Trastuzumab

$4,573 Million


Keytruda (Merck)

Generic Name: Pembrolizumab

$3,560 Million



World’s Top Ten Cancer Drugs by 2020

Igea gives professionals, patients and investors interested in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, healthcare technology, diagnostics and medical devices the most relevant, actionable news, information and analysis available anywhere. Our goal is to provide expert insights, analysis and information from industry leaders with a deep understanding of life sciences, medicine and healthcare. Created and curated by Luca Dezzani, MD, Global Medical Director at Novartis Oncology*, Igea offers an insider’s view on the most important developments in life sciences, healthcare technology, digital health and more.


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