Global pharmaceutical sales grew 9% in 2003 to $492 billion, and North America, Europe and Japan accounted for 88% of the consumption, according to IMS Health, Fairfield, Conn. North American drug sales set the pace, growing 11% to $229.5 billion. European sales rose 8% to $115.4 billion. The 10 best-selling drugs accounted for $48.3 billion in sales in 2003, a 14% increase from the previous year. Pfizer's cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor was the top-selling drug with $10.3 billion in global sales, 2% more than the previous year's sales. The most commonly prescribed drugs work to reduce high cholesterol and triglycerides. Read the company's news release. -- by Cinda Becker
Drug sales up 9% globally, 11% in North America
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