Pfizer’s Comirnaty tops chart as best selling drug in 2021: Citeline report

27 July 2022 | News

It took a global pandemic to end the nine-year reign of AbbVie’s Humira as the world’s best-selling pharmaceutical product

Image credit: shutterstock

Image credit: shutterstock

Citeline has recently published the 'Top 10 Best Selling Drugs' report, for data intelligence and analysis on the top performing pharma products by revenues in 2022 and insights on the major themes affecting the highest-grossing drugs and the companies behind their continued development.


2021 saw the global rollout of vaccines being accelerated for the prevention of COVID-19 and these drugs have rightfully made it to the list of top-selling drugs. 


Sitting at the top of the leaderboard as the best-selling drug during 2021 is Comirnaty, irrespective of being its first year on the market. This is the first time that a single product has achieved more in annual sales than any other in the history of the pharmaceutical market. The $41.1 billion in revenues that Pfizer reported is not just a record, but this number is almost twice as large as Humira’s peak annual sales of $21.2bn. 


Moderna, being unable to match Pfizer’s scale of manufacturing and international exporting, can console itself with equally astonishing Spikevax sales of $17.7 billion in a single year, despite having no prior experience in drug marketing.


It remains to be seen how durable sales will be through 2022, as many individuals in western countries completed their primary vaccination courses during 2021. However, with recommendations slowly expanding into younger age groups, and booster programs being favoured to counter subsequent waves of new variants, these two drugs will certainly feature prominently as we adjust to COVID-19’s endemicity. Most forecasts indicate that 2022 will be another highly lucrative year for vaccine developers, with new pricing models through 2023 offsetting a strong decline in volume thereafter.




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