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.
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.
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%.
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|
|$428.66 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$320.41 B||🇨🇭 Switzerland|
|$219.39 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$208.99 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$207.70 B||🇨🇭 Switzerland|
|$202.60 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$191.67 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$187.83 B||🇩🇰 Denmark|
|$152.28 B||🇬🇧 UK|
|$145.80 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$136.50 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$130.37 B||🇫🇷 France|
|$110.49 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$104.30 B||🇬🇧 UK|
|$103.10 B||🇦🇺 Australia|
|$83.62 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$83.25 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$80.61 B||🇩🇪 Germany|
|$59.43 B||🇩🇪 Germany|
|20||Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine |
|$58.51 B||🇨🇳 China|
|$55.83 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$55.00 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$54.23 B||🇩🇪 Germany|
|$52.67 B||🇯🇵 Japan|
|$52.16 B||🇨🇭 Switzerland|
|26||Walgreens Boots Alliance|
|$45.05 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$33.80 B||🇰🇷 S. Korea|
|$33.42 B||🇯🇵 Japan|
|$31.65 B||🇨🇳 China|
|$31.20 B||🇯🇵 Japan|
|$26.59 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|32||Hansoh Pharma |
|$26.00 B||🇨🇳 China|
|$25.97 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|34||Otsuka Holdings |
|$23.15 B||🇯🇵 Japan|
|35||Horizon Therapeutics |
|$21.13 B||🇮🇪 Ireland|
|36||Alnylam Pharmaceuticals |
|$20.42 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$18.85 B||🇯🇵 Japan|
|$18.74 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$18.48 B||🇭🇰 Hong Kong|
|$17.25 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$16.26 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$16.03 B||🇳🇱 Netherlands|
|$15.29 B||🇯🇵 Japan|
|$11.88 B||🇮🇳 India|
|45||Teva Pharmaceutical Industries|
|$11.21 B||🇮🇱 Israel|
|46||Ono Pharmaceutical |
|$11.12 B||🇯🇵 Japan|
|$11.09 B||🇮🇪 Ireland|
|48||Bausch Health |
|$10.47 B||🇨🇦 Canada|
|$10.42 B||🇨🇭 Switzerland|
|$10.33 B||🇩🇪 Germany|
|51||Hualan Biological Engineering|
|$10.31 B||🇨🇳 China|
|$9.49 B||🇨🇭 Switzerland|
|53||Neurocrine Biosciences |
|$9.45 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$9.42 B||🇨🇳 China|
|55||BridgeBio Pharma |
|$8.89 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|56||Cadila Healthcare |
|$8.59 B||🇮🇳 India|
|57||Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma |
|$8.16 B||🇯🇵 Japan|
|$7.89 B||🇨🇦 Canada|
|59||Ascendis Pharma |
|$7.51 B||🇩🇰 Denmark|
|$7.19 B||🇩🇪 Germany|
|61||Lupin Limited |
|$7.04 B||🇮🇳 India|
|62||Gland Pharma |
|$7.01 B||🇮🇳 India|
|$6.95 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|64||GW Pharmaceuticals |
|$6.81 B||🇬🇧 UK|
|$6.78 B||🇯🇵 Japan|
|66||Torrent Pharmaceuticals |
|$6.61 B||🇮🇳 India|
|$6.43 B||🇮🇳 India|
|$6.32 B||🇯🇵 Japan|
|69||Sarepta Therapeutics |
|$6.25 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$6.21 B||🇮🇪 Ireland|
|$6.11 B||🇫🇮 Finland|
|$6.04 B||🇩🇰 Denmark|
|$5.87 B||🇨🇦 Canada|
|74||Adaptive Biotechnologies |
|$5.69 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|75||Intellia Therapeutics |
|$5.62 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|76||Santen Pharmaceutical |
|$5.49 B||🇯🇵 Japan|
|$5.46 B||🇯🇵 Japan|
|78||Beam Therapeutics |
|$5.43 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|79||Reata Pharmaceuticals |
|$5.15 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|80||Swedish Orphan Biovitrum|
|$5.13 B||🇸🇪 Sweden|
|81||BB Biotech |
|$5.08 B||🇨🇭 Switzerland|
|82||Alkem Laboratories |
|$5.00 B||🇮🇳 India|
|$4.69 B||🇮🇳 India|
|84||Laurus Labs |
|$4.44 B||🇮🇳 India|
|85||Taisho Pharmaceutical |
|$4.39 B||🇯🇵 Japan|
|86||Hanmi Pharmaceutical |
|$4.22 B||🇰🇷 S. Korea|
|$3.87 B||🇮🇪 Ireland|
|$3.71 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$3.65 B||🇰🇷 S. Korea|
|$3.55 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|91||Ipca Laboratories |
|$3.41 B||🇮🇳 India|
|92||Nektar Therapeutics |
|$3.02 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|93||BioCryst Pharmaceuticals |
|$3.01 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$2.96 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|$2.84 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|96||Rocket Pharmaceuticals |
|$2.74 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|97||Axsome Therapeutics |
|$2.65 B||🇺🇸 USA|
|98||Natco Pharma |
|$2.63 B||🇮🇳 India|
|$2.59 B||🇮🇳 India|
|100||Editas Medicine |
|$2.54 B||🇺🇸 USA|
World’s Largest Pharmaceutical Exporters and Importers
According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), these countries exported the most number of pharmaceuticals in the year 2019:
|Rank||Country||Export Value (US$B)|
In contrast, here are the biggest importers over the same period.
|Rank||Country||Import Value (US$B)|
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.
Visualizing the Relationship Between Cancer and Lifespan
New research links mutation rates and lifespan. We visualize the data supporting this new framework for understanding cancer.
A Newfound Link Between Cancer and Aging?
A new study in 2022 reveals a thought-provoking relationship between how long animals live and how quickly their genetic codes mutate.
Cancer is a product of time and mutations, and so researchers investigated its onset and impact within 16 unique mammals. A new perspective on DNA mutation broadens our understanding of aging and cancer development—and how we might be able to control it.
Mutations, Aging, and Cancer: A Primer
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells. It is not a pathogen that infects the body, but a normal body process gone wrong.
Cells divide and multiply in our bodies all the time. Sometimes, during DNA replication, tiny mistakes (called mutations) appear randomly within the genetic code. Our bodies have mechanisms to correct these errors, and for much of our youth we remain strong and healthy as a result of these corrective measures.
However, these protections weaken as we age. Developing cancer becomes more likely as mutations slip past our defenses and continue to multiply. The longer we live, the more mutations we carry, and the likelihood of them manifesting into cancer increases.
A Biological Conundrum
Since mutations can occur randomly, biologists expect larger lifeforms (those with more cells) to have greater chances of developing cancer than smaller lifeforms.
Strangely, no association exists.
It is one of biology’s biggest mysteries as to why massive creatures like whales or elephants rarely seem to experience cancer. This is called Peto’s Paradox. Even stranger: some smaller creatures, like the naked mole rat, are completely resistant to cancer.
This phenomenon motivates researchers to look into the genetics of naked mole rats and whales. And while we’ve discovered that special genetic bonuses (like extra tumor-suppressing genes) benefit these creatures, a pattern for cancer rates across all other species is still poorly understood.
Cancer May Be Closely Associated with Lifespan
Researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute report the first study to look at how mutation rates compare with animal lifespans.
Mutation rates are simply the speed at which species beget mutations. Mammals with shorter lifespans have average mutation rates that are very fast. A mouse undergoes nearly 800 mutations in each of its four short years on Earth. Mammals with longer lifespans have average mutation rates that are much slower. In humans (average lifespan of roughly 84 years), it comes to fewer than 50 mutations per year.
The study also compares the number of mutations at time of death with other traits, like body mass and lifespan. For example, a giraffe has roughly 40,000 times more cells than a mouse. Or a human lives 90 times longer than a mouse. What surprised researchers was that the number of mutations at time of death differed only by a factor of three.
Such small differentiation suggests there may be a total number of mutations a species can collect before it dies. Since the mammals reached this number at different speeds, finding ways to control the rate of mutations may help stall cancer development, set back aging, and prolong life.
The Future of Cancer Research
The findings in this study ignite new questions for understanding cancer.
Confirming that mutation rate and lifespan are strongly correlated needs comparison to lifeforms beyond mammals, like fishes, birds, and even plants.
It will also be necessary to understand what factors control mutation rates. The answer to this likely lies within the complexities of DNA. Geneticists and oncologists are continuing to investigate genetic curiosities like tumor-suppressing genes and how they might impact mutation rates.
Aging is likely to be a confluence of many issues, like epigenetic changes or telomere shortening, but if mutations are involved then there may be hopes of slowing genetic damage—or even reversing it.
While just a first step, linking mutation rates to lifespan is a reframing of our understanding of cancer development, and it may open doors to new strategies and therapies for treating cancer or taming the number of health-related concerns that come with aging.
Explainer: What to Know About Monkeypox
What is monkeypox, and what risk does it pose to the public? This infographic breaks down the symptoms, transmission, and more.
Explainer: What to Know About Monkeypox
The COVID-19 pandemic is still fresh in the minds of the people around the world, so it comes as no surprise that recent outbreaks of another virus are grabbing headlines.
Monkeypox outbreaks have now been reported in multiple countries, and it has scientists paying close attention. For everyone else, numerous questions come to the surface:
- How serious is this virus?
- How contagious is it?
- Could monkeypox develop into a new pandemic?
Below, we answer these questions and more.
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a virus in the Orthopoxvirus genus which also includes the variola virus (which causes smallpox) and the cowpox virus. The primary symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a distinctive bumpy rash.
There are two major strains of the virus that pose very different risks:
- Congo Basin strain: 1 in 10 people infected with this strain have died
- West African strain: Approximately 1 in 100 people infected with this strain died
At the moment, health authorities in the UK have indicated they’re seeing the milder strain in patients there.
Where did Monkeypox Originate From?
The virus was originally discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo in monkeys kept for research purposes (hence the name). Eventually, the virus made the jump to humans more than a decade after its discovery in 1958.
It is widely assumed that vaccination against another similar virus, smallpox, helped keep monkeypox outbreaks from occurring in human populations. Ironically, the successful eradication of smallpox, and eventual winding down of that vaccine program, has opened the door to a new viral threat. There is now a growing population of people who no longer have immunity against the virus.
Now that travel restrictions are lifting in many parts of the world, viruses are now able to hop between nations again. As of the publishing of this article, a handful of cases have now been reported in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and a number of European countries.
On the upside, contact tracing has helped authorities piece together the transmission of the virus. While cases are rare in Europe and North America, it is considered endemic in parts of West Africa. For example, the World Health Organization reports that Nigeria has experienced over 550 reported monkeypox cases from 2017 to today. The current UK outbreak originated from an individual who returned from a trip to Nigeria.
Could Monkeypox become a new pandemic?
Monkeypox, which primarily spreads through animal-to-human interaction, is not known to spread easily between humans. Most individuals infected with monkeypox pass the virus to between zero and one person, so outbreaks typically fizzle out. For this reason, the fact that outbreaks are occurring in several countries simultaneously is concerning for health authorities and organizations that monitor viral transmission. Experts are entertaining the possibility that the virus’ rate of transmission has increased.
Images of people covered in monkeypox lesions are shocking, and people are understandably concerned by this virus, but the good news is that members of the general public have little to fear at this stage.
I think the risk to the general public at this point, from the information we have, is very, very low.
–Tom Inglesby, Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
» For up-to-date information on monkeypox cases, check out Global.Health’s tracking spreadsheet
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