DEFINITION of 'Blockbuster Drug'
An extremely popular drug that generates annual sales of at least $1 billion for the company that creates it. Examples of blockbuster drugs include Vioxx, Lipitor and Zoloft. Blockbuster drugs are commonly used to treat common medical problems like high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and cancer.
BREAKING DOWN 'Blockbuster Drug'
A blockbuster drug can be a major factor in a pharmaceutical company's success. However, it can also cause major problems for a company if the drug is discovered to have problematic side effects or is recalled after being released. Also, the patent on blockbuster drugs eventually expires and the drugs then face competition from less expensive generic equivalents.