This Is The Top-Selling Drug In America

Photographed by Jessica Nash.
You might be a surprised to find out the best-selling pharmaceutical drug isn't something like Lipitor or Prozac. Nope, it's actually the antipsychotic drug Abilify. And, there's now a generic version.

As an atypical antipsychotic drug, Abilify (a.k.a. aripiprazole) works on both dopamine and serotonin receptors. It's often prescribed for the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and — alongside other medications — depression. Abilify also has "orphan drug" status for the treatment of childhood Tourette's. 

As of last year, Abilify was one of the most-prescribed drugs in the U.S. and the world. And, it was the best-selling drug in the U.S., raking in over $7 billion by last June. But, this month, the drug went off patent protection for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. 

Just yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first generic version of Abilify for those indications. It will still come with the serious black box warning and the same list of side effects (including nausea and insomnia). Now that the generic version's been approved, though, doctors can prescribe it for off-label uses.

Still, for patients in need — who may now be able to get the drug at much lower costs than before — this sounds like pretty good news.

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