Who are the biggest global pharmaceutical companies?

Who are the biggest global pharmaceutical companies?


Mar 2, 2023

Blog Life Sciences , Pharmaceuticals Who are the biggest global pharmaceutical companies?

Pharmaceuticals are vital to a healthy society. The last few years demonstrated that we need an efficient and innovative drug landscape to drive advancements in medicine. Covid-19 fueled the growth of the pharmaceutical drugs market, as companies raced to develop the vaccine that would alter the course of the pandemic. This period very much reflected the wider market: one of intense competition, with companies vying to increase market share.

Now the pandemic is largely behind us, there remain multi-billion-dollar opportunities for biopharma companies, mRNA pioneers and other biotech companies. BCC Research anticipates the global market for pharmaceutical drugs to reach heights of $1,757.5 billion by 2027. But which companies are dominating this lucrative market?

Top Ten Pharmaceutical Drug Companies

      1.  Pfizer

BCC Research has named Pfizer as the leading pharmaceutical drug manufacturer in the world. With pharmaceutical revenues of $79,557 million and a market share of 6%, this titan force is one to be reckoned with. 

The company’s revenues stem mostly from the manufacture and sale of products, principally biopharmaceutical products. 

      2.  China National Pharmaceutical Group Corporation

At number two is the China National Pharmaceutical Group Corporation. The CNPGC had revenues of $58,447 million in 2021, and held a market share of 4.4%. 

The company has more than 200 research projects in action. Its pipeline encompasses late-stage vaccines such as (live) vector-based anti-HIV vaccine, hepatitis B vaccine for therapeutic use, shigella conjugate vaccine and trivalent rotavirus vaccine. 

      3.  AbbVie

AbbVie, with revenues of $56,601 and a market share of 4.2%, is ranked by BCC Research as the third largest pharmaceutical company.

AbbVie became independent in 2013, after Abbott separated into two separate companies. AbbVie focuses on innovative therapies. 

      4.  Novartis

In 2021, Novartis enjoyed global revenues of $52,601 and a market share of 4%. This Switzerland-based company develops innovative therapies in two global divisions: Innovative Medicines and Sandoz (generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars).

Novartis specializes in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of a broad range of healthcare products, led by innovative pharmaceuticals.

      5.  Johnson & Johnson

At number five is Johnson & Johnson, who made $52,080 million in revenues in 2021 with a market share of 3.9%. The company has approximately 126,400 employees worldwide, and a wide-ranging product portfolio for healthcare. 

The pharmaceutical segment includes six therapeutic areas: immunology, infectious diseases, neuroscience, oncology, cardiovascular and metabolism and pulmonary hypertension. Key products include Remicade, Simponi, Simponi Aria, Stelara, Tremfya, Procrit, Prezista, Edurant, Velcade, Darzalex and more.

      6.  F. Hoffmann la Roche

Roche was founded in 1896 and is engaged in the manufacture of devices and chemicals for medical research and diagnostics. The company is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland and has a presence in approximately 150 countries. In 2021, Roche made revenues of $49,279 million and had a market share of 3.7%.

      7.  Bristol Myers Squibb

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company discovers, develops, licenses, manufactures, markets, distributes and sells biopharmaceutical products globally. A leading biopharma company, it offers medicines across oncology, hematology, immunology and cardiovascular segments.

With global revenues of $45,055 in 2021, BMS ranks as the seventh biggest manufacturer of pharmaceutical drugs.

      8.  Merck & Co

Merck & Co delivers health solutions through its prescription medicine, vaccine, biological therapy and animal health products. Its pharmaceutical business segment accounted for 89.6% of the company’s total revenues in 2021. In August 2022, the company received EU approval for the commercialization and marketing of Lynparza (olaparib), a drug used for the treatment of high-risk early breast cancer.

      9.  AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca became a household name in 2020/21 as the company hit headlines for the development of a Covid-19 vaccine, in collaboration with Oxford University. Founded in 1992, the company is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical business that focuses on oncology; cardiovascular, renal and metabolic (CVRM) diseases; respiratory and immunology diseases; and other medicines for COVID-19.

Their market share stood at 2.8% in 2021, and the company enjoyed revenues of $36,541 million. 

      10.  Sanofi

Sanofi comes in at number ten, with revenues of $31,879 million and a market share of 2.4%. Pharmaceuticals accounted for 71.5% of its total net sales. This segment focuses on various disease areas, including oncology, diabetes, rare diseases, multiple sclerosis, thrombosis, cardiovascular diseases and nephrology.

Learn about the pharmaceutical drug industry

BCC Research’s 2023 update on our Best Selling Pharmaceutical Drugs in 2021 dives into the competitive landscape of the pharmaceutical industry. The report delivers the sales figures of the top 50 bestselling drugs in 2021, in terms of major player market ranking and top 50 pharmaceutical drugs. Download your complimentary report overview or grab the full copy here.

Becoming a member of our research library grants access to our full range of reports within the pharmaceuticals category. Discover the full benefits of membership by getting in touch through the button below!

Become a member

    Stay ahead of industry trends, build your market research strategy and more.

    Olivia Lowden

    Written By Olivia Lowden

    Olivia Lowden is a Junior Copywriter at BCC Research, writing content on everything from sustainability to fintech. Before beginning at BCC Research, she received a First-Class Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia.

    Guiding smart decisions every step of the way

    Guiding smart decisions every step of the way

    We are your trusted research partner, providing actionable insights and custom consulting across life sciences, advanced materials, and technology. Allow BCC Research to nurture your smartest business decisions today, tomorrow, and beyond.

    Contact Us