NDC Health Information Services Announces 2004 U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry Top 10 Rankings

ATLANTA, March 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- NDCHealth Corporation , a leading provider of healthcare technology and information solutions, today reported its 2004 rankings for the U.S. pharmaceutical industry based on prescription-centric data reported by the NDC(R) Pharmaceutical Audit Suite (PHAST) monthly audit. Among key findings, generic products accounted for six spots among the top 10 ranking in terms of total prescription volume activity in the retail channel, although Pfizer Inc.'s cholesterol-fighting drug Lipitor(R) remained the number one ranking branded prescription product in the nation. The number one ranking product overall in terms of dispensed prescription count was hydrocodone w/APAP, a generic painkiller.

Among other 2004 U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry Top 10 Rankings highlights: - Total U.S. prescription volume activity for Pfizer's Lipitor totaled more than 69 million, an increase of 6% from the prior year. As a company, Pfizer also was first among pharmaceutical manufacturers ranked by U.S. wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) prices and by total prescription volume activity. Pfizer products accounted for nearly $30 billion, with more than 323 million prescriptions dispensed for its products last year. In terms of WAC prices, GlaxoSmithKline ranked second with more than $18 billion. Generic manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals ranked second in terms of total prescription volume activity, with 209 million prescriptions dispensed for its products. - In terms of WAC prices, biotechnology producer Amgen experienced a dramatic 32% increase in growth compared to 2003. Also of note, AstraZeneca, producer of leading brands Crestor(R) and Nexium(R), experienced a 14% increase, as did Sanofi-Aventis, producer of Allegra(R) and angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) Avapro(R), which treats high blood pressure. - In terms of total prescription count, six out of 10 of the top ranking corporations experienced negative growth. Those reporting an increase from the prior year included AstraZeneca at 10%, and generic manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals, which experienced nearly an 8% increase. The overall rankings for 2004: Top 10 U.S. Retail Products Ranked by Total Prescription (TRx) Count TRx Count Generic or TRx Count* % Change Product Rank Brand (Mil) Prior Year Hydrocodone w/APAP 1 Generic 92.7 8.17% Lipitor 2 Brand 69.8 6.46% Lisinopril 3 Generic 46.2 17.50% Atenolol 4 Generic 44.2 2.88% Synthroid 5 Brand 44.1 -6.73% Amoxicillin 6 Generic 41.4 10.48% Hydrochlorothiazide 7 Generic 41.3 14.83% Zithromax 8 Brand 37.2 -5.99% Furosemide 9 Generic 36.5 3.24% Norvasc 10 Brand 34.7 4.18% * Based on NDCHealth proprietary methodologies. Reflects prescription data for retail and mail order pharmacy channels. Top 10 Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Ranked by U.S. Dollars WAC Dollars WAC Dollars* % Change Corporation Rank (Mil) Prior Year Pfizer 1 $29,903 5.53% GlaxoSmithKline 2 $18,657 1.74% Johnson & Johnson 3 $16,028 9.89% Merck 4 $14,137 5.67% AstraZeneca 5 $11,275 14.03% Sanofi-Aventis 6 $10,882 14.03% Novartis 7 $10,482 9.19% Bristol-Myers Squibb 8 $10,305 3.69% Abbott Labs 9 $9,153 14.29% Amgen 10 $8,811 32.11% * Based on NDCHealth proprietary methodologies. Reflects prescription data and wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) prices for retail and mail order pharmacies, clinics, hospitals, long-term care and home healthcare organizations and other non-retail channels. Top 10 U.S. Pharmaceutical Companies Ranked by Total Prescription (TRx) Count TRx Count TRx Count* % Change Corporation Rank (Mil) Prior Year Pfizer 1 323 -5.45% Teva Pharmaceuticals 2 209 7.59% Novartis 3 208 -1.76% Mylan 4 195 2.96% Watson Pharma 5 174 5.98% GlaxoSmithKline 6 133 -12.61% Merck 7 112 -2.22% Abbott 8 101 -2.87% AstraZeneca 9 92 10.37% Johnson & Johnson 10 88 -9.12% * Based on NDCHealth proprietary methodologies. Reflects prescription data for retail and mail order pharmacy channels. About NDC Pharmaceutical Audit Suite (PHAST)

NDC PHAST is a syndicated view of U.S. retail and mail order pharmacy prescription activity, updated weekly and monthly and reported by therapeutic classes and products, payment types, physician specialties, drug manufacturers and geographic areas. NDC PHAST data captures a representative sample of approximately 70% of prescriptions in the U.S. market, with NDCHealth proprietary methodology employed to project up to the total market. PHAST also provides a syndicated view of U.S. pharmaceutical distribution sales to non- retail institutions (including hospitals, clinics, long term care, home health, and others) and reported by therapeutic classes and products, classes of trade, drug manufacturers, and geographic areas.

NDCHealth added that it will release its full 2004 year in review report, "Pharma Insight," coinciding with the company's pharmaceutical industry conference Industry Forum 2005, which will be held April 10-13 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

About NDCHealth

NDCHealth is a leading information solutions company serving all sectors of healthcare. Its network solutions have long been among the nation's leading, automating the exchange of information among pharmacies, payers, hospitals and physicians. Its systems and information management solutions help improve operational efficiencies and business decision making for providers, retail pharmacy and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Headquartered at Atlanta, Ga., the company provides information vital to the delivery of healthcare every day. For more information, visit http://www.ndchealth.com/ .

NDCHealth and NDC are trademarks of NDCHealth Corporation. All other company and product names mentioned may be trademarks of the company.

NDCHealth Corporation

CONTACT: Robin Wrinn of NDCHealth Corporation, +1-404-728-2214, orrobin.wrinn@ndchealth.com

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