Cost: $128,666 per U.S. patient per year
Celgene's ($CELG) Revlimid not only holds a key spot on the list of priciest drugs, up 6% from last year, it also has underpinned Celgene's success. It generated $4.28 billion for Celgene last year, up 13.7%, which was 66% of the company's total take.
One of the reasons for its explosive growth has been its multiple indications. First approved in 2005 as a treatment for anemia associated with myelodysplastic syndromes, the drug's use expanded in 2006 to multiple myeloma, which now accounts for most of its sales, as well as for the rare blood disease mantle-cell lymphoma. It was approved last year to treat multiple myeloma in China.
But Celgene has had its setbacks with Revlimid. In July 2013, Celgene halted a trial testing Revlimid as a first-line treatment for elderly patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL. The drug was associated with nearly twice as many deaths as among patients in a control group.
Special Report: Top 20 orphan drugs by 2018 - Revlimid
Celgene, Boston Children's play tug-of-war over Revlimid royalties
Deaths force Celgene to stop Revlimid CLL trial in its tracks
-- Eric Palmer (email | Twitter)