Top ten prescription drugs used by Aussies in 2019/2020

Embargoed until: Publicly released:
Peer-reviewed: This work was reviewed and scrutinised by relevant independent experts.

Case study: A study involving observations of a single patient or group of patients.

A drug used to treat eye conditions such as macular degeneration has cost the taxpayer almost $400 million in 2019/2020, topping the list of drugs ranked by cost to government. The drug, which was in second place last year, has topped the chart this year thanks to growing numbers of prescriptions. Many of the top ten most expensive drugs are products often referred to as 'biologicals' - based on monoclonal antibodies. Cholesterol-lowering drugs and blood pressure drugs made up most of the top ten most commonly used prescription drugs in Australia in 2019-2020. The antidepressant sertraline (sold under the trade name Zoloft) is a new entry to the list of most commonly prescribed drugs by population. The lists of most commonly used and most expensive drugs are produced annually and are based on PBS and RPBS prescriptions.

Journal/conference: Australian Prescriber

Link to research (DOI): 10.18773/austprescr.2020.075

Organisation/s: Australian Government - Dept of Health

Funder: N/A


  • NPS MedicineWise
    Web page
    Please link to the article in online versions of your report (the URL will go live after the embargo ends).

News for:


Media contact details for this story are only visible to registered journalists.