Top 300 drugs of 2014 in the United States: General Indicators


Top 300 drugs of 2014 in the United States: General Indicators

F. S. Coulibaly, A. O. Owiti, B-B. C. Youan

University of Missouri-Kansas City


The aim of this study is to determine the general indicators about the 300 most prescribed drugs in 2014 in the United States.


The 300 most prescribed drugs list is obtained from the Pharmacy Drug Cards 30th Edition Pocket Index Guide by SFI medical publishing. In addition to this manual, other online resources such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Drug Enforcement

Administration (DEA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and databases are used in a combination approach to collect additional information. All drug information is gathered in a Microsoft® Excel 2013 spreadsheet and the frequencies are obtained by sorting out the data either by route of administration, pregnancy risk category, dosage form, therapeutic class or CSA schedule.


Results show that 73% of these drugs are administered orally and 56% of them are available in a solid dosage form including 40% in tablet dosage form. Moreover, rectal products (1.3%) are the least occurring drug products among the top 300 drugs. Fifty five percent

(55%) of these drugs are classified under the pregnancy risk category C, suggesting that fetal risks are frequently associated with these medications. Likewise, antihypertensive drugs (accounting for 11%) are found to be the most prescribed therapeutic classe. Agents for opioid dependence, anti-hyperphosphatemia, electrolytes, fibromyalgia agents, smoking cessation aid, thyroid/hormone and topical corticosteroids constitute the least prescribed therapeutic classes and account, overall, for less than 3% of the 300 drugs. A look at the psychotropic drugs revealed that less than 10% of the 300 drugs analyzed are controlled under the Control Substance Act (CSA) law.

A subsequent analysis of these psychotropic drugs shows that 55% of them are classified under schedule II, suggesting that they have a high potential for abuse.


The data gathered in this study may be very informative for decision makers, policy makers, insurance agencies, health care professionals, drug products manufacturers, biomedical research scholars and patients.