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

RankCountryExport 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.

RankCountryImport 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.