The pharmaceutical industry across the globe in the present scenario is very lucrative, showing great promise, and with growth trajectories set to really astound and impress. In fact, going by a study conducted by PwC, the path-breaking trends that we ought to look forward to in the pharmaceutical space are all in line with the growing number of chronic diseases, a growing pressure on companies to stretch their healthcare budgets, and blurring boundaries between the different forms of healthcare.
Keeping all of this in mind, it’s going to be rather interesting to watch how companies operating in this space compete to stay alive. What’s more interesting is that the entire pharmaceutical industry is a war-zone, with M&A being the most prominent strategy in play. The pharma industry in particular, relies on keeping up with new technological platforms and promotional techniques when it comes to optimizing all their marketing efforts.
Following is the list of the top 25 companies operating in the pharma space.
25. Daiichi Sankyo
Company Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan
2015 Sales (USD): $7,215
2015 R&D spending (USD): $1,617.9
Established in the year 2005, Daiichi-Sankyo came to be after the merger of Sankyo Company, Limited and Daiichi Pharmaceutical Company, Limited, which were century-old pharmaceutical companies based in Japan. This merger has led to Daiichi-Sankyo being the second largest pharmaceutical company in Japan.
24. Merck KGaA
Company Headquarters: Darmstadt, Germany
2015 Sales (USD): $7,693
2015 R&D spending (USD): $1,453.5
Merck was founded in 1668, making it the world’s oldest operating chemical and pharmaceutical company, as well as putting it out there as one of the largest in the world. Headquartered in Darmstadt, Merck has over 50,000 employees in around 70 countries across the globe.
Company Headquarters: Summit, New Jersey
2015 Sales (USD): $9,069
2015 R&D spending (USD): $2,295.0
Founded in the year 1986, Celgene Corporation, an American company operating in the biotechnology space, has its fame in its discovery, development and commercialization of medicines that treat cancer and inflammatory disorders.
Company Headquarters: Cambridge, Massachusetts
2015 Sales (USD): $9,189
2015 R&D spending (USD): $2,012.8
Biogen is an American multinational biotechnology company founded in 1978 by several prominent biologists. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the company specializes in the discovery, development, and delivery of therapies to treat hematologic, neuro-degenerative, and autoimmune diseases, and caters to patients worldwide.
Company Headquarters: Canonsburg, Pennsylvania
2015 Sales (USD): $9,291
2015 R&D spending (USD): $651.6
Milan Pharmaceuticals was founded as a drug distributor in 1961. By 1966, the company began manufacturing penicillin G tablets as well as vitamins and other dietary supplements as a contract manufacturing organization. Come 1980, the company chose to continue their operations by marketing their products under the “Mylan” brand.
Mylan has grown from being the third-largest generic and pharmaceuticals company in the US, to now becoming the second-largest generic and specialty pharmaceuticals company in the world, all through a series of strategic acquisitions, .
Interestingly, the pharmaceutical industry is all about the quality and scale of the product franchise. The next factor to consider, is how effectively the franchise is managed and executed across all aspects of biopharma operations. Experts suggest that the value for these companies is hidden in their human assets.
In what could now be called a global war for talent, a strong commitment to diversity is an across-the-board competitive differentiator, and that’s exactly what’s setting some pharma companies apart from the others.
20. Astellas Pharma
Company Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan
2015 Sales (USD): $10,937
2015 R&D spending (USD): $1,959.8
Astellas Pharma Inc., founded in 2005, is a Japanese pharmaceutical company that resulted from the merger of Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. Astellas’ franchise areas for R&D are in urology, cardiology, immunology , dermatology, and infectious diseases.
19. Boehringer Ingelheim
Company Headquarters: Ingelheim, Germany
2015 Sales (USD): $12,348
2015 R&D spending (USD): $2,801.7
Founded in 1885 by Albert Boehringer in Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany, the Boehringer Ingelheim group is now one of the top 20 leading pharmaceutical companies of the world. It operates globally and has over 47,700 employees. The company’s operates in the areas of respiratory diseases, diseases of the central nervous system, immunology, oncology, and metabolism.
Company Headquarters: Osaka, Japan
2015 Sales (USD): $12,565
2015 R&D spending (USD): $2,776.0
Takeda Pharmaceuticals was founded in 1781, and was incorporated in 1925. It is Asia’s largest pharmaceutical company, and a top pharmaceutical company in the world. The company has over 30,000 employees and operates globally.
17. Bristol-Myers Squibb
Company Headquarters: New York
2015 Sales (USD): $14,480
2015 R&D spending (USD): $4,037.0
Bristol-Myers, a company founded in 1887, and Squibb Corporation, founded in 1858, were merged in 1989, to form Bristol-Myers Squibb. The company manufactures prescription pharmaceuticals in several therapeutic areas, which include cancer, cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis and psychiatric disorders.
Company Headquarters: Leverkusen, Germany
2015 Sales (USD): $15,558
2015 R&D spending (USD): $2,588.3
Bayer AG is a multinational pharmaceutical and chemical company founded in Germany in 1863. Bayer’s primary areas of business include pharmaceuticals in the human and veterinary space, consumer healthcare products, agricultural chemicals, high value polymers, and biotechnology products.
15. Eli Lilly
Company Headquarters: Indianapolis, Indiana
2015 Sales (USD): $15,792
2015 R&D spending (USD): $4,478.3
Eli Lilly and Company was founded in 1876 by Col. Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical chemist and veteran of the American Civil War. It is an American global pharmaceutical company with offices in Puerto Rico and 17 other countries. Their products are sold in approximately 125 countries. The company was the first to mass-produce penicillin, the Salk polio vaccine, and insulin. It is also one of the first pharmaceutical companies to produce human insulin using recombinant DNA. Interestingly, Lilly is also the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of psychiatric medications.
14. Novo Nordisk
Company Headquarters: Bagsvaerd, Denmark
2015 Sales (USD): $16,054
2015 R&D spending (USD): $2,024.2
Founded in 1923, Novo Nordisk is a Danish MNC in the pharmaceutical space which has production facilities in over eight countries, and offices in over 75 countries. The company employs around 40,000 people across the globe, and has a market for its products in about 180 nations.
13. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
Company Headquarters: Petach Tikva, Israel
2015 Sales (USD): $16,982
2015 R&D spending (USD): $1,525.0
This 116 year old pharmaceutical company founded in 1901, is the largest generic drug manufacturer in the world. Despite its specialization in production of generic drugs, TEVA has other businesses which include proprietary pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. TEVA has facilities located in Israel, Europe, North America and South America.
Company Headquarters: Irvine, California
2015 Sales (USD): $18,403
2015 R&D spending (USD): $2,780.7
A much younger company in comparison to some of the other pharmaceutical giants featured in this article, Allergan is a multi-national pharmaceutical company that produces branded and generic drugs, and also performs extensive pharmaceutical research and development. The company was founded on February 18, 2015.
Company Headquarters: Thousand Oaks, California
2015 Sales (USD): $20,944
2015 R&D spending (USD): $3,917.0
Amgen is the world’s largest independent biotechnology firm. Founded in 1980, this American multinational bio-pharmaceutical company’s history is dotted with several major corporate acquisitions.
Middle-ranked companies are in fact capable of product innovation and new-age marketing which would easily propel them to the top 10 of the list. But so far, there haven’t been a significant number of companies that have successfully accomplished this.
Company Headquarters: North Chicago, Illinois
2015 Sales (USD): $22,724
2015 R&D spending (USD): $3,617.0
AbbVie, a spin-off company of Abbott Laboratories in 2013, is a company that discovers, develops and markets bio-pharmaceuticals and small molecule drugs.
When Abbott Laboratories announced its plan to separate into two publicly traded companies, it stated that the “new” Abbott Laboratories would specialize in an array of diversified products which would include medical devices, diagnostic equipment, and also nutrition products, while the new-born AbbVie would begin operations as a research-based pharmaceutical manufacturer.
Company Headquarters: London, England
2015 Sales (USD): $23,264
2015 R&D spending (USD): $5,603.0
AstraZeneca is a British–Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company founded in the year 1999, through the merger of the Swedish Astra AB and the British Zeneca group. Based on its sales revenue, it is the eighth largest drug company in the world.
Company Headquarters: Brentford, England
2015 Sales (USD): $27,051
2015 R&D spending (USD): $4,731.1
GlaxoSmithKline (popularly GSK), a British multinational pharmaceutical company, was formed after the merger of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham in the year 2000. As of 2015, this company has stood out as the sixth largest in the world in the pharmaceutical space.
7. Johnson & Johnson
Company Headquarters: New Brunswick, New Jersey
2015 Sales (USD): $29,864
2015 R&D spending (USD): $6,821.0
Johnson & Johnson is an American multinational pharmaceutical, medical devices and consumer packaged goods manufacturing company formed in 1886. The corporation has about 250 subsidiary companies performing operations in over 60 countries, and has its products sold in over 175 countries.
6. Gilead Sciences
Company Headquarters: Foster City, California
2015 Sales (USD): $32,151
2015 R&D spending (USD): $3,018.0
Gilead Sciences was founded in the year 1987, and specializes in the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutics. The company has its operations in North America, Europe and Australia. As of the end of 2015, Gilead had aabout 7,900 full-time employees.
Company Headquarters: Paris, France
2015 Sales (USD): $34,896
2015 R&D spending (USD): $5,638.2
Sanofi is a multinational pharmaceutical company that actively engages in the research and development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceutical drugs in the prescription market. The company also develops over-the-counter medication in smaller scale. Formed as Sanofi-Aventis in 2004 after the merger of Aventis and Sanofi-Synthélabo, it changed its name to Sanofi in May 2011.
4. Merck & Co.
Company Headquarters: Kenilworth, New Jersey
2015 Sales (USD): $35,244
2015 R&D spending (USD): $6,613.0
Merck was founded in 1668 by the Merck family. Interestingly, Merck & Co. was nationalized by the US government during the First World War, and was subsequently established as an independent American company in 1917. The company is renowned for its advanced R&D capabilities, and Merck’s research and development efforts have also led to the approval of more new drugs than any other company.
Company Headquarters: Basel. Switzerland
2015 Sales (USD): $38,733
2015 R&D spending (USD): $8,452.1
F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG is a Swiss multinational health-care company that has its operations worldwide and under the two divisions of Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics. The company has many pharmaceutical and diagnostic sites around the world. Roche was founded in 1896 by Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche. It was earlier known for producing several vitamin preparations and derivatives. Later, the company became the first to mass-produce synthetic vitamin C, under the brand name Redoxon.
Company Headquarters: Basel, Switzerland
2015 Sales (USD): $42,467
2015 R&D spending (USD): $8,465.3
Another Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company, Novartis was founded in 1996. It is the second largest pharmaceutical company in the world both by market capitalization and sales. The businesses of Novartis are divided into the operating divisions of Pharmaceuticals, Alcon (eye care), and Sandoz (generics).
Company Headquarters: New York
2015 Sales (USD): $43,112
2015 R&D spending (USD): $7,678.0
Pfizer was founded by Charles Pfizer and Charles F. Erhart in 1849, as a manufacturer of fine chemicals. Its discovery of Terramycin in 1950 helped put the company on a dedicated path towards becoming a research-based pharmaceutical company, and the largest in the world. Pfizer develops and produces medicines and vaccines for a broad range of medical disciplines which include immunology, cardiology, oncology, diabetology/endocrinology, and neurology.
Though these companies represented as the top 25 global sales leaders have remained surprisingly stable over the recent years, their relative positions within the list shift continually. Product launches and innovative campaigns have proved more than beneficial to the more innovative players, and have aided their growth at every stage of the product life cycle, which now plays an advantageous role against the unimaginably brutal levels of competition.
Pfizer has continued to remain in premier position as the industry’s prescription sales leader, displacing Novartis in the No. 1 ranking. It truly will be a fascinating watch as rapid developments continue to shape this industry- ripe in its stage of growth.
Source: Looney, W. (2016, July). Pharm Exec’s Top 50 Companies 2016. Retrieved from PharmExec.com: http://www.pharmexec.com/2016-pharm-exec-50
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