Tables 1–3 show the top 10 drugs for the year July 2016 – June 2017. The figures are based on PBS and RPBS prescriptions from the date of supply. This year's figures include prescriptions under the co-payment (non-subsidised).

The capture of below co-payment data probably explains why drugs such as amoxicillin, which were previously absent, now appear in the top 10 drugs by prescription count. Drugs for hepatitis C continue to dominate the top 10 most expensive drugs.

Table 1 - Top 10 drugs by DDD/1000 pop/day

Drug

DDD/1000 pop/day *

1. atorvastatin

69.34

2. rosuvastatin

50.14

3. perindopril

49.23

4. amlodipine

43.72

5. irbesartan

34.02

6. candesartan

32.5 1

7. telmisartan

29.59

8. esomeprazole

29.54

9. ramipril

28.20

10. metformin

23.61

Table 2 - Top 10 drugs by prescription counts

Drug

Prescriptions

1. atorvastatin

10 354 080

2. rosuvastatin

10 239 733

3. esomeprazole

9 284 540

4. pantoprazole

6 737 757

5. perindopril

6 184 545

6. cephalexin

5 473 562

7. amoxicillin

5 445 791

8. metformin

4 941 822

9. amoxicillin and clavulanic acid

4 908 573

10. irbesartan

4 076 242

Table 3 - Top 10 drugs by cost to government (does not include rebates) 

Drug

Cost to government

DDD/1000 pop/day *

Prescriptions

1. ledipasvir and sofosbuvir

$969 208 772

43 139

2. sofosbuvir

$927 284 256

1.70

47 160

3. daclatasvir

$347 075 507

1.64

44 178

4. adalimumab

$320 626 014

35.1 5

207 325

5. aflibercept

$261 241 529

203 140

6. ranibizumab

$213 069 1 1 8

169 657

7. trastuzumab

$160 173 5 13

52 733

8. pregabalin

$159 616 588

32.76

3 796 237

9. denosumab

$152 044 886

36.24

534 918

10. etanercept

$146 737 356

12.09

97 266

* DDD/thousand population/day is a more useful measure of drug utilisation than prescription counts. It shows how many people in every thousand Australians are taking the standard dose of a drug every day. DDD includes use in combination products. The calculation is based on ABS 3101.0 – Australian Demographic Statistics for December 2016 (as at March 2017).

DDDs in combination products are accounted for in constituent drugs

The World Health Organization has not allocated a DDD for this drug

DDD defined daily dose

PBS Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

RPBS Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

Source: Department of Health, November 2017. © Commonwealth of Australia

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