Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

25 biggest pharmaceutical companies and what they make

  • 25 biggest pharmaceutical companies and what they make

    As controversial as the worldwide pharmaceutical business may be, it is undoubtedly one of the largest industries at the moment. With a value inching towards a $1 trillion figure, the pharmaceutical market is one of the essential instruments on the broader healthcare industry, next to medical equipment and health care services.

    These are multinational and multibillion-dollar companies that manufacture prescribed drugs, over-the-counter medicines, vaccines, and consumer products. The largest pharmaceutical companies in the world are responsible for producing and marketing products that treat or alleviate long-term diseases, including but not limited to cancer, diabetes, HIV, and cardiovascular diseases.

    After looking at 2019 data from Pharmaceutical Executive magazine, Stacker created this gallery featuring the top 25 pharmaceutical companies based on prescription sales. Stacker's slideshow also includes the percent change in sales from the 2018 Pharmaceutical Executive report and the three top-selling drugs for each of the companies listed. Combined, the top 25 companies on this list sold $580.98 billion worth of pharmaceuticals.

    The Pharm Exec's Top 50 Companies 2019 report, uploaded on July 12, 2019, compiled a list of 50 top companies based on their prescription sales and money spent on research and development. The report also ranked companies by the size of their prescription drug sales. The figures were obtained through EvaluatePharma and only account for prescription pharmaceuticals sold in the 2018 fiscal year.

    Click through the list to see how many American companies made it on this list.

    You may also like: Ranking the reputation of the 100 most visible companies in America

  • #25. CSL

    - Country: Australia
    - Prescription sales in 2018: $8.27 billion (10% higher than previous year)
    - Research and development spending in 2018: $724 million (14.9% higher than previous year)
    - Top-selling drugs: Privigen ($2.29 billion), Hizentra ($942 million), Human albumin ($929 million)

    Originally founded as a federal government department in Australia, CSL has stated a mission of protecting people who have been struck by a “range of serious and chronic medical conditions.” CSL touts an emphasis on innovation, with the company focusing on disease and influenza vaccines. The company has several locations around the world, including a new one in Illinois.

  • #24. Biogen

    - Country: United States
    - Prescription sales in 2018: $10.89 billion (5.1% higher than previous year)
    - Research and development spending in 2018: $2.59 billion (15% higher than previous year)
    - Top-selling drugs: Tecfidera ($4.27 billion), Avonex ($1.92 billion), Tysabri ($1.86 billion)

    As the name implies, Biogen has a significant stake in the biotechnology industry since its founding in 1978 in Geneva. Biogen grew in size by merging with IDEC Pharmaceuticals in 2003, and since then has acquired several other companies. Currently, the company owes its financial success to a “diverse pipeline of potential new drugs,” according to some analysts.

  • #23. Astellas Pharma

    - Country: Japan
    - Prescription sales in 2018: $11.04 billion (1.4% higher than previous year)
    - Research and development spending in 2018: $1.91 billion (4.1% lower than previous year)
    - Top-selling drugs: Xtandi ($3.00 billion), Prograf ($1.43 billion), Myrbetriq ($1.33 billion)

    Originally named Fujisawa Pharmaceutical, this pharmaceutical company changed its name to Astellas Pharma after a number of mergers and worldwide expansion. The company’s research focuses on infectious diseases, diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases, oncology, and the central nervous system.

  • #22. Mylan

    - Country: United States
    - Prescription sales in 2018: $11.14 billion (2.7% lower than previous year)
    - Research and development spending in 2018: $586 million (11.2% lower than previous year)
    - Top-selling drugs: Glatiramer Acetate ($450 million), EpiPen ($246 million), Ethinyl Estradiol; Norelgestromin ($207 million)

    West Virginia-based company Mylan offers a number of products, most notably several generic drugs and over-the-counter remedies. Mylan distributed the EpiPen beginning with a 2007 deal but came under fire for the rising costs to buy EpiPen products. Recently, Mylan announced a merger with Pfizer’s patent medicine division, called Upjohn.

  • #21. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

    - Country: Israel
    - Prescription sales in 2018: $13.12 billion (28.1% lower than previous year)
    - Research and development spending in 2018: $1.21 billion (34.4% lower than previous year)
    - Top-selling drugs: Copaxone ($2.37 billion), Bendeka ($642 million), Methylphenidate Hydrochloride ($481 million)

    Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is an Israeli-based company, founded initially as Salomon, Levin, and Elstein Ltd. in 1901. Teva has patents on drugs, including Copaxone for multiple sclerosis and Azilect for Parkinson’s disease. Once thought to be the largest generic drugmaker, Teva has recently been under debt.

  • #20. Allergan

    - Country: United States
    - Prescription sales in 2018: $14.7 billion (1.4% lower than previous year)
    - Research and development spending in 2018: $1.58 billion (1.6% lower than previous year)
    - Top-selling drugs: Botox ($3.58 billion), Restasis ($1.26 billion), Juvederm Voluma ($1.16 billion)

    Before becoming a multibillion-dollar company, Allergan began as an eye care firm, creating products like the first cortisone eye drop to treat allergies. Today, one of Allergan’s major products is Botox. Most recently, Allergan announced its acquirement by pharmaceutical company AbbVie.

  • #19. Boehringer Ingelheim

    - Country: Germany
    - Prescription sales in 2018: $14.83 billion (4% higher than previous year)
    - Research and development spending in 2018: $3.21 billion (4.4% higher than previous year)
    - Top-selling drugs: Spiriva ($2.85 billion), Pradaxa ($1.76 billion), Jardiance ($1.73 billion)

    Based in Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim is privately owned by the Boehringer, Liebrecht, and von Baumbach families, and has been operating since 1885. The company focuses on human pharmaceuticals and animal health. As a globally operated company, Boehringer Ingelheim has 146 subsidiaries around the world.

  • #18. Shire

    - Country: Ireland
    - Prescription sales in 2018: $14.99 billion (3.8% higher than previous year)
    - Research and development spending in 2018: $1.61 billion (2.4% higher than previous year)
    - Top-selling drugs: Vyvanse ($2.36 billion), Gammagard Liquid ($2.29 billion), Advate ($2.17 billion)

    Originating from Ireland and with an operational base in the United States, Shire was a biopharmaceutical company with products including Vyvanse, Lialda, and Adderall XR. Shire attempted to acquire AbbVie in 2014, with the merger eventually called off. Years later, Takeda would acquire Shire, with the latter company folded in by 2019.

  • #17. Celgene

    - Country: United States
    - Prescription sales in 2018: $15.24 billion (17.8% higher than previous year)
    - Research and development spending in 2018: $4.08 billion (35.2% higher than previous year)
    - Top-selling drugs: Revlimid ($9.69 billion), Pomalyst ($2.04 billion), Otezla ($1.61 billion)

    Headquartered in New Jersey, Celgene primarily develops products to treat cancer and other inflammatory conditions. In 2019, Celgene was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb for $74 billion, making for the largest pharmaceutical company acquisition ever; the merger is pending approval.

  • #16. Takeda

    - Country: Japan
    - Prescription sales in 2018: $17.43 billion (28.3% higher than previous year)
    - Research and development spending in 2018: $3.01 billion (2.4% higher than previous year)
    - Top-selling drugs: Entyvio ($2.33 billion), Velcade ($884 million), Leuplin ($809 million)

    Founded in 1781 selling traditional Japanese and Chinese herbal medicines, Takeda became an incorporated company in 1925. Currently, the largest Asian pharmaceutical company, Takeda focuses mainly on metabolic disorders, gastroenterology, neurology, inflammation, and oncology. In 2019, Takeda fully acquired Irish pharmaceutical company Shire.

2018 All rights reserved.