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Who are the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies?

Some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies have played a central role in the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, it’s likely no surprise that the pandemic has also been great for many healthcare businesses. In fact, in 2020 alone, the world’s 50 largest pharmaceutical companies still combined for a whopping $851 billion in revenues.

In this graphic, using data from Companies Market Cap, we list the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world by market capitalization. It’s worth noting this list also includes healthcare companies that work closely with pharmaceuticals, including biotech, pharmaceutical retailers, clinical laboratories, etc.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this graphic was missing some key companies such as GSK and AbbVie. They were unfortunately not included in the original source and we are now working to make sure there were no other smaller omissions. Thanks to all that sent in corrections.

The Pharmaceutical Leaders

To start, here are the top five biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world at the moment by market capitalization:

1. Johnson & Johnson

The pharmaceutical and consumer goods giant is worth $428.7 billion in market cap. They developed the third vaccine authorized for use in the U.S. and were named among the TIME100 Most Influential Companies List in 2021.

2. Roche

The Swiss pharmaceutical giant is at the forefront of oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology, and neuroscience. In 2019, Roche’s pharma segment sales rose by a healthy 16% to $53 billion.

3. Pfizer

Despite being the leading COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer in North America, Pfizer slid in the rankings to third place. The company has recently gained momentum, especially in the past quarter, with Q2’2021 revenues of $19.0 billion, reflecting a 86% operational growth from 2020.

4. Eli Lilly

Eli Lilly has taken a significant step towards establishing itself as a pharmaceutical industry leader. Having a market cap value of $125 billion in 2019, Eli Lilly has jumped to a current value of $214.9 billion, a significant growth of 72%.

5. Novartis

The second-biggest pharmaceutical company out of Switzerland, Novartis has been the face of the pharma industry for about 25 years. The primary manufacturer for the most recognizable drugs on the market pulled in a revenue of over $48 billion in 2020, a 3% increase compared to 2019.

Here’s how all the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world stack up against each other:

Company Rank Company Name Market Cap Value Country
1 Johnson & Johnson
JNJ
$428.66 B 🇺🇸 USA
2 Roche
RHHBY
$320.41 B 🇨🇭 Switzerland
3 Pfizer
PFE
$219.39 B 🇺🇸 USA
4 Eli Lilly
LLY
$208.99 B 🇺🇸 USA
5 Novartis
NVS
$207.70 B 🇨🇭 Switzerland
6 AbbVie
ABBV
$202.60 B 🇺🇸 USA
7 Merck
MRK
$191.67 B 🇺🇸 USA
8 Novo Nordisk
NVO
$187.83 B 🇩🇰 Denmark
9 Astrazeneca
AZN
$152.28 B 🇬🇧 UK
10 Bristol-Myers Squibb
BMY
$145.80 B 🇺🇸 USA
11 Amgen
AMGN
$136.50 B 🇺🇸 USA
12 Sanofi
SNY
$130.37 B 🇫🇷 France
13 CVS Health
CVS
$110.49 B 🇺🇸 USA
14 GlaxoSmithKline
GSK
$104.30 B 🇬🇧 UK
15 CSL
CSL.AX
$103.10 B 🇦🇺 Australia
16 Gilead Sciences
GILD
$83.62 B 🇺🇸 USA
17 Moderna
MRNA
$83.25 B 🇺🇸 USA
18 Merck KGaA
MRK.DE
$80.61 B 🇩🇪 Germany
19 Bayer
BAYZF
$59.43 B 🇩🇪 Germany
20 Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine
600276.SS
$58.51 B 🇨🇳 China
21 Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
REGN
$55.83 B 🇺🇸 USA
22 Biogen
BIIB
$55.00 B 🇺🇸 USA
23 BioNTech
BNTX
$54.23 B 🇩🇪 Germany
24 Takeda Pharmaceutical
TAK
$52.67 B 🇯🇵 Japan
25 Lonza
LONN.SW
$52.16 B 🇨🇭 Switzerland
26 Walgreens Boots Alliance
WBA
$45.05 B 🇺🇸 USA
27 Celltrion
068270.KS
$33.80 B 🇰🇷 S. Korea
28 Astellas Pharma
ALPMF
$33.42 B 🇯🇵 Japan
29 BeiGene
BGNE
$31.65 B 🇨🇳 China
30 Eisai
4523.T
$31.20 B 🇯🇵 Japan
31 West Pharma
WST
$26.59 B 🇺🇸 USA
32 Hansoh Pharma
3692.HK
$26.00 B 🇨🇳 China
33 LabCorp
LH
$25.97 B 🇺🇸 USA
34 Otsuka Holdings
4578.T
$23.15 B 🇯🇵 Japan
35 Horizon Therapeutics
HZNP
$21.13 B 🇮🇪 Ireland
36 Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
ALNY
$20.42 B 🇺🇸 USA
37 kyowa Kirin
4151.T
$18.85 B 🇯🇵 Japan
38 Catalent
CTLT
$18.74 B 🇺🇸 USA
39 Sino Biopharmaceutical
1177.HK
$18.48 B 🇭🇰 Hong Kong
40 Bio-Techne
TECH
$17.25 B 🇺🇸 USA
41 PPD
PPD
$16.26 B 🇺🇸 USA
42 Argenx
ARGX
$16.03 B 🇳🇱 Netherlands
43 Shionogi
4507.T
$15.29 B 🇯🇵 Japan
44 Dr. Reddy’s
RDY
$11.88 B 🇮🇳 India
45 Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
TEVA
$11.21 B 🇮🇱 Israel
46 Ono Pharmaceutical
4528.T
$11.12 B 🇯🇵 Japan
47 ICON plc
ICLR
$11.09 B 🇮🇪 Ireland
48 Bausch Health
BHC
$10.47 B 🇨🇦 Canada
49 CRISPR Therapeutics
CRSP
$10.42 B 🇨🇭 Switzerland
50 Curevac
CVAC
$10.33 B 🇩🇪 Germany
51 Hualan Biological Engineering
002007.SZ
$10.31 B 🇨🇳 China
52 Vifor Pharma
VIFN.SW
$9.49 B 🇨🇭 Switzerland
53 Neurocrine Biosciences
NBIX
$9.45 B 🇺🇸 USA
54 Sinopharm
1099.HK
$9.42 B 🇨🇳 China
55 BridgeBio Pharma
BBIO
$8.89 B 🇺🇸 USA
56 Cadila Healthcare
CADILAHC.NS
$8.59 B 🇮🇳 India
57 Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma
4506.T
$8.16 B 🇯🇵 Japan
58 Tilray
TLRY
$7.89 B 🇨🇦 Canada
59 Ascendis Pharma
ASND
$7.51 B 🇩🇰 Denmark
60 Evotec
EVT.F
$7.19 B 🇩🇪 Germany
61 Lupin Limited
LUPIN.NS
$7.04 B 🇮🇳 India
62 Gland Pharma
GLAND.NS
$7.01 B 🇮🇳 India
63 Exelixis
EXEL
$6.95 B 🇺🇸 USA
64 GW Pharmaceuticals
GWPH
$6.81 B 🇬🇧 UK
65 KOBAYASHI Pharmaceutical
4967.T
$6.78 B 🇯🇵 Japan
66 Torrent Pharmaceuticals
TORNTPHARM.NS
$6.61 B 🇮🇳 India
67 Biocon
BIOCON.NS
$6.43 B 🇮🇳 India
68 PeptiDream
4587.T
$6.32 B 🇯🇵 Japan
69 Sarepta Therapeutics
SRPT
$6.25 B 🇺🇸 USA
70 Perrigo
PRGO
$6.21 B 🇮🇪 Ireland
71 Orion Corporation
ORNAV.HE
$6.11 B 🇫🇮 Finland
72 Lundbeck
LDB.F
$6.04 B 🇩🇰 Denmark
73 AbCellera
ABCL
$5.87 B 🇨🇦 Canada
74 Adaptive Biotechnologies
ADPT
$5.69 B 🇺🇸 USA
75 Intellia Therapeutics
NTLA
$5.62 B 🇺🇸 USA
76 Santen Pharmaceutical
4536.T
$5.49 B 🇯🇵 Japan
77 Nippon Shinyaku
4516.T
$5.46 B 🇯🇵 Japan
78 Beam Therapeutics
BEAM
$5.43 B 🇺🇸 USA
79 Reata Pharmaceuticals
RETA
$5.15 B 🇺🇸 USA
80 Swedish Orphan Biovitrum
SOBI.ST
$5.13 B 🇸🇪 Sweden
81 BB Biotech
BION.SW
$5.08 B 🇨🇭 Switzerland
82 Alkem Laboratories
ALKEM.NS
$5.00 B 🇮🇳 India
83 Abbott India
ABBOTINDIA.NS
$4.69 B 🇮🇳 India
84 Laurus Labs
LAURUSLABS.NS
$4.44 B 🇮🇳 India
85 Taisho Pharmaceutical
4581.T
$4.39 B 🇯🇵 Japan
86 Hanmi Pharmaceutical
008930.KS
$4.22 B 🇰🇷 S. Korea
87 Alkermes
ALKS
$3.87 B 🇮🇪 Ireland
88 Karuna Therapeutics
KRTX
$3.71 B 🇺🇸 USA
89 Shinpoong Pharm
019170.KS
$3.65 B 🇰🇷 S. Korea
90 NantKwest
NK
$3.55 B 🇺🇸 USA
91 Ipca Laboratories
IPCALAB.NS
$3.41 B 🇮🇳 India
92 Nektar Therapeutics
NKTR
$3.02 B 🇺🇸 USA
93 BioCryst Pharmaceuticals
BCRX
$3.01 B 🇺🇸 USA
94 Vericel
VCEL
$2.96 B 🇺🇸 USA
95 Dicerna Pharmaceuticals
DRNA
$2.84 B 🇺🇸 USA
96 Rocket Pharmaceuticals
RCKT
$2.74 B 🇺🇸 USA
97 Axsome Therapeutics
AXSM
$2.65 B 🇺🇸 USA
98 Natco Pharma
NATCOPHARM.NS
$2.63 B 🇮🇳 India
99 Alembic Pharmaceuticals
APLLTD.NS
$2.59 B 🇮🇳 India
100 Editas Medicine
EDIT
$2.54 B 🇺🇸 USA

World’s Largest Pharmaceutical Exporters and Importers

According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), these countries exported the most number of pharmaceuticals in the year 2019:

Rank Country Export Value (US$B)
1 🇩🇪 Germany $91.4
2 🇨🇭 Switzerland $84.8
3 🇺🇸 U.S. $55.7
4 🇧🇪 Belgium $55.7
5 🇮🇪 Ireland $55.4

In contrast, here are the biggest importers over the same period.

Rank Country Import Value (US$B)
1 🇺🇸 U.S. $132.4
2 🇩🇪 Germany $59.4
3 🇧🇪 Belgium $47.3
4 🇨🇳 China $35.7
5 🇳🇱 Netherlands $33.5

This position is hardly surprising for the U.S., where six of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies are headquartered. The country also captures 45% of the global market.

The Future of Pharmaceutical Companies

If the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is that in building a patient-centered future, the pharmaceutical industry plays a key role. It has to constantly find new ways to customize medicines while researching and developing new tools and drugs.

By embracing disruptive technologies like 3D printed drugs, artificial intelligence guided therapies, and preventive medicine while working with regulatory agencies, the pharmaceutical companies will benefit from having a digital revolution.

Furthermore, emerging markets will have a more significant say in the global pharmaceutical market in the coming years. Even though ‘big pharma’ will keep raking in the massive profits they do every year, their reliance on countries like Brazil and India for research and drug production will significantly impact the years to come.



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