Cyclodextrin-containing drugs among top 200 Brand Name Drugs by retail sales

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A recent poster by R.E. Williams and C. M. Marshall, (Jon Njardarson’s group, University of Arizona) listed the Top 200 Brand name Drugs based upon their retail sales in 2022.

This publication provides highly interesting and impressive figures on pharmaceutical products proved to be most profitable on the market.

No surprise that in 2022, the No.1. selling product, was Comirnaty® vaccine (by Pfizer-Biontech) with a sales value of 37.806 billion USD. The amazing retail sales are even more  impressive in the light of a rather short period of time available for the development-approval-manufacturing-distribution steps of the life-saving COVID-19 vaccine.

I believe that for the readers of the Cyclodextrin community, it will be even more interesting and impressive to see that even cyclodextrin-enabled drugs are listed among the top 200 products.

Indeed, in 2022, four cyclodextrin-based pharmaceuticals were listed.

  • Veklury® (Remdesivir-SBECD), broad spectrum antiviral medication by Gilead Sciences took position No. 38. with a sales value of 3.905 billion USD. Now, as the demand for COVID-19 products slows, sales of the antiviral Veklury dropped by 30%. Gilead’s Chief Commercial Officer, J. Mercier said during the company’s full-year earnings conference call that the Veklury business is “much more sustainable than ever before,” partly thanks to its status as the only antiviral cleared for use in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. (source:
  • Abilify® (Aripiprazole-SBECD) by Otsuka Pharmaceuticals ranking the 142. position with an annual sales of 1.250 billion USD.
  • No. 143 product is the Kyprolis® (carfilzomib-SBECD) an anti-cancer medication acting as a selective proteosome inhibitor by Onyx Pharmaceuticals (1.247 billonUSD).
  • Bayer’s oral contraceptive product YAZ® (Yasminelle) containing drospirenone and beta-cyclodextrin encapsulated ethinyl-eastradiol had a sales value of 829 millions USD.

Surprisingly, Bridion® (Sugammadex) was not listed in the top 200 products in 2022, however, it was mentioned among the 200 best selling products in 2021. (See below)

Top selling cyclodextrin-containing products in 2021:

  • Bridion® (Sugammadex, by Merck), the first selective muscle relaxant binding agent, used for the reversal of neuromuscular blocade during anesthesisa. This product was ranked as No.120 among top 200 drug products, with an annual sales of 1.530 billion USD. Bridion® contains sugammadex, the very first cyclodextrin, approved as an API.   
  • Veklury® (Remdesivir-SBECD) by Gilead Sciences was the 24. in line, with a retail sales of 5.565 billion USD.
  • Onyx Pharmaceuticals’ product Kyprolis® (carfilzomib-SBECD) was listed as No. 152, with the annual sales of 1.177 billion USD.
  • The beta-cyclodextrin-containing oral contraceptive YAZ® by Bayer, took the position of No. 194. by making 815 millions USD in 2021.  

Note: Not surprisingly, in 2021, COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty® (by Pfizer-Biontech) was listed also No.1 with an annual sales of 37.7 billion USD.


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