10 Top Pharma Companies by Revenue

- February 11th, 2021

Here’s a breakdown of the top pharma companies by revenue in 2019, according to information from research firm GlobalData.

The pharmaceutical industry is the cornerstone of development, marketing and commercialization for drug treatments and medications for the patient population. 

According to data from Statista, revenue in the pharma sector topped US$1 trillion for the first time in 2014, and has steadily increased since then to reach US$1.25 trillion in 2019. North America serves as the largest segment of this growth thanks to the behemoth US pharmaceutical industry. In terms of prescription drugs alone, Evaluate Pharma estimates that sales will reach US$1.4 trillion by 2026.

So which companies are responsible for the most growth and innovation in the space?

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Research firm GlobalData has pinned down the top pharma companies by revenue, noting that out of the 20 companies on its list, 17 had year-on-year growth in 2019. Here the Investing News Network provides an overview of the 10 top pharma companies by revenue reported by GlobalData. Currently the majority of them are in various phases of researching, developing and manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines or diagnostic tests for the COVID-19 virus and antibodies.

1. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

2019 revenue: US$82.1 billion

It should come as no surprise that pharmaceutical behemoth Johnson & Johnson tops the list. Johnson & Johnson is a holding company that is actively involved in research and development, manufacturing and sales for consumer, pharmaceutical and medical device products, among others.

Under the consumer market umbrella are products for baby care, oral care, skin care and women’s health. In terms of pharmaceuticals, the company is focused on five major therapeutic areas: immunology, infectious diseases and vaccines, neuroscience, oncology and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. It also manufactures over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.

Worldwide sales for Johnson & Johnson increased by 0.6 percent from 2018 to 2019.

2. Roche Holding (F. Hoffmann-La Roche) (OTCQX:RHHBF,SWX:RO)

2019 revenue: US$61.9 billion

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, F. Hoffmann-La Roche operates two key divisions: pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche Holding is its holding company.

Roche Diagnostics is made up of five key business areas: Roche Applied Science, Roche Professional Diagnostics, Roche Diabetes Care, Roche Molecular Diagnostics and Roche Tissue Diagnostics. The diseases Roche targets in its pharmaceutical division are as follows: oncology, neuroscience, infectious diseases, immunology, haematology, haemophilia, ophthalmology and pulmonology.

Outpacing Johnson & Johnson, revenue for Roche Holding grew 8.1 percent in 2019 compared to 2018.

3. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)

2019 revenue: US$51.8 billion

Pfizer is a world-renowned research pharmaceutical company developing drugs in a wide range of areas, including oncology, inflammation and immunology, vaccines, internal medicine and rare diseases.

As of October 2020, the company had a total of 92 key programs. Out of those, 29 were in Phase 1 clinical trials, 36 were in Phase 2 trials, 21 were in Phase 3 trials and six had reached registration. Despite being the third top pharma company by revenue, Pfizer’s 2019 revenue fell by 3.5 percent from 2018.

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4. Novartis (NYSE:NVS,SWX:NOVN)

2019 revenue: US$48.6 billion

Similarly to Roche Holding, Novartis is also based in Basel, Switzerland. The company is focused on a wide range of disease areas, including oncology, immunology and ophthalmology. Novartis is also developing a cell and gene therapy technology platform that includes adeno-associated virus-based therapies, CAR-T cell therapies and technologies based on CRISPR.

Revenue for Novartis in 2019 increased by 5.7 percent year-over-year from 2018.

5. Merck (NYSE:MRK)

2019 revenue: US$46.8 billion

Merck is another global company. Its product line includes therapies for diabetes, cancer, vaccines and hospital care. The conditions the company aims to treat range from cancer, HIV, HPV, hepatitis C and cardio-metabolic disease, to antibiotic-resistant infections and Alzheimer’s disease. In December 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Merck’s Ebola virus vaccine.

Year-over-year, Merck’s revenue for 2019 increased by an impressive 10.7 percent.

6. Bayer (OTC Pink:BAYZF,ETR:BAYN)

2019 revenue: US$46.7 billion

Headquartered in Germany, Bayer has a broad portfolio of products. In terms of pharmaceuticals, Bayer is focused on prescription products for cardiology and women’s care; therapeutics for oncology, hematology and ophthalmology; and radiology.

Bayer has a wide range of consumer health products in many different sectors, including dermatology, nutritionals, analgesics, digestive, allergy, coughs and colds, foot care and sun care.

In 2019, the company’s revenue increased by an impressive 18.5 percent year-over-year compared to its 2018 revenue — the biggest year-over-year gain on the list.

7. GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK,LSE:GSK)

2019 revenue: US$45.1 billion

GlaxoSmithKline has two main business divisions: pharmaceuticals and consumer healthcare. Its pharmaceutical products include products for diseases such as asthma, cancer, infections, diabetes and mental health. In terms of consumer healthcare products, GlaxoSmithKline’s line includes products for oral healthcare, cold sores, nasal strips and nicotine patches.

Revenue for GlaxoSmithKline in 2019 was up 9.5 percent year-over-year.

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2019 revenue: US$42.1 billion

Based in France, Sanofi develops products in areas such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, oncology, immunology, multiple sclerosis, rare diseases, rare blood disorders and vaccines. Sanofi is the world’s largest producer of vaccines thanks to its subsidiary Sanofi Pasteur.

In 2019, revenue for Sanofi dipped 5.5 percent year-over-year from 2018.

9. AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV)

2019 revenue: US$33.3 billion

AbbVie is a research-driven biopharmaceutical company that develops products for chronic autoimmune diseases, neurological diseases and metabolic diseases, as well as diseases in the fields of gastroenterology, dermatology and oncology.

The company’s product Humira treats rheumatoid arthritis, chronic plaque psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis and non-infectious uveitis. Overall, AbbVie’s revenue in 2019 increased by 1.6 percent year-over-year.

10. Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY)

2019 revenue: US$26.1 billion

Last on this list of top pharma companies by revenue is Eli Lilly & Co., a company that develops products for human and animal health. In terms of its human pharmaceutical products, these include therapies for endocrinology, neuroscience, oncology, immunology and cardiovascular disorders.

Founded in 1876, the company has its headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana, and has grown to employ roughly 33,000 people worldwide. It has research and development facilities and manufacturing plans in eight countries and has done clinical research in over 50 countries.

Year-over-year, Eli Lilly & Co.’s revenue increased by 15.9 percent in 2019 compared to 2018.

This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing News Network in 2019. 

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_LifeScience for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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