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Healthcare Insights

Top medications prescribed by oncologists

Oncologists play a central role in treating patients with cancer. They help personalize cancer treatment plans that can include many different types of medications, including chemotherapy.

Using intelligence from the Definitive Healthcare Atlas Prescription Claims dataset, we’ve ranked the top 20 medications most commonly prescribed by oncologists and dispensed to U.S. patients between January and October 2023.

Top 10 medications prescribed by oncologists and dispensed in the U.S.

RankDrug name% of oncologist prescribed medications dispensed in U.S.Explore dataset
4Tamoxifen citrate3.30%Explore
6Prochlorperazine maleate2.60%Explore
11Ondansetron hydrochloride2.10%Explore
13Oxycodone hydrochloride1.90%Explore
14Hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen1.90%Explore
15Folic acid1.90%Explore
17Levothyroxine sodium1.50%Explore
19Potassium chloride1.30%Explore
20Pantoprazole sodium1.10%Explore

Fig. 1. Data is from the Definitive Healthcare Atlas Prescription Claims product for January 2023 to October 2023. Claims data is sourced from multiple claims clearinghouses in the United States and is updated monthly. Data accessed December 2023.

What medications are the most commonly prescribed by oncologists?

The most common medication prescribed by oncologists and dispensed to U.S. patients is anastrozole. It is used to treat breast cancer by lowering estrogen hormones. The second medication on the list, letrozole, is also used by patients with breast cancer and can help slow or stop the growth of breast cancer cells by decreasing the amount of estrogen in the body.

What types of medications do oncologists prescribe?

As seen on the list, many medications prescribed by oncologists and dispensed to U.S. patients are for treating a type of cancer. Oncologists also help with chemotherapy regimens to fight the cancer affecting their patients. From the list, hydroxyurea for example, is used to treat certain types of leukemia.

In addition to specific cancer medications, the drugs on this list also reveal the other symptoms and conditions patients with cancer may have to manage. Medications such as ondansetron help with nausea and vomiting symptoms from chemotherapy treatments. Pain medications like oxycodone hydrochloride and steroids like prednisone can help patients feel more comfortable. Some patients may be managing co-morbidities such as heart conditions that they treat with anticoagulants like Eliquis.

Advancements in cancer treatment and new cancer drugs are continuously being developed to fight one of the leading causes of death in the country. Insights that biopharma, medical device, and imaging companies derive from the Atlas Dataset help them better understand diagnoses and prescription trends, segment and prioritize key accounts, and reach the right healthcare providers.

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Healthcare Insights are developed with healthcare commercial intelligence from the Definitive Healthcare platform. Want even more insights? Start a free trial now and get access to the latest healthcare commercial intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare providers.