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Top Ten Pharmaceutical Companies in the World

Top Ten Pharmaceutical Companies in the World


In this article, we outline ten of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world, including Roche, Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer.
  • Author Company: PharmiWeb
  • Author Name: Lucy Walters
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Editor: Lucy Walters Last Updated: 10-Sep-2021

In this article, we outline ten of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world…


Founded in Switzerland in 1896, Roche has been a pioneer in healthcare for almost 125 years. The company discovers innovative pharmaceuticals and diagnostics to help millions of patients globally, and is the global leader in cancer treatments; with medicines treating breast, skin, colon, lung, and numerous other cancers. Roche also offers a diverse portfolio of biopharmaceuticals, with 17 currently on the market.

The company has over 90,000 employees working across more than 100 countries, and group sales at the end of 2020 reached over $63 billion, with Roche’s pharmaceutical division accounting for more than $48 billion of this.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson is the world’s largest and most broadly based healthcare company and was founded over 130 years ago.

The company has over 130,000 employees across the world and developed the first single-shot COVID-19 vaccine. In 2020, they invested more than $12 billion in research and development, and achieved $82.6 billion total sales; including $14.1 billion in worldwide consumer health sales, $45.6 billion in worldwide pharmaceutical sales, and $23 billion in worldwide medical device sales.


Pfizer is one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, with a global portfolio that includes medicines and vaccines alongside some of the world’s best-known consumer health care products.

The company was founded over 170 years ago and has over 78,000 employees across the world. In 2020, Pfizer’s total revenue reached $41.9 billion.


Novartis focuses on using innovative science and technology to address some of society’s most challenging healthcare issues, developing breakthrough treatments and finding new ways to deliver them to as many people as possible.

In 2021, Novartis was ranked #3 in Fortune Magazine’s most admired pharmaceutical companies, with products available in over 155 countries and reaching almost 800 million people globally. The company also has more than 108,000 employees representing 140 nationalities and made $48.7 billion in net sales in 2020.


MSD is aspiring to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world. Founded over 130 years ago, MSD are at the forefront of research to prevent and treat diseases that threaten people and animals and have brought forward many medicines and vaccines for some of the world’s most challenging diseases.

The company has over 74,000 employees globally and invested $13.6 billion in research and development in 2020.


AbbVie is a research-driven biopharmaceutical company finding new approaches to addressing today’s health issues, from life-threatening illnesses to chronic conditions. 57+ million people per year are treated by AbbVie’s products in over 175 countries.

After becoming a separate company from Abbott in 2013, AbbVie has over 48,000 employees. The company invested $5.8 billion in research and development in 2020 and generated revenues of over $45 billion.


Sanofi is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on human health and on helping those who suffer with rare diseases and long-term chronic conditions. Sanofi is present in 90 countries, provides healthcare solutions in 170 countries, and has 69 manufacturing sites across 32 countries.

With over 100,000 employees, the company generated sales of more than $42 million in 2020.


Founded in 1980, Amgen is one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies, focused on transforming new ideas and discoveries into medicines for patients with serious illnesses.

With around 24,000 employees worldwide, Amgen reached a total revenue of $25.4 billion in 2020.

Bristol Myers Squibb

A global biopharmaceutical company with a mission to discover, develop, and deliver innovative medicines to help patients tackle serious diseases. BMS are known for their advancements in oncology, immunology, and cardiovascular diseases.

In 2020, total revenues for the company reached $42.5 billion worldwide.


GSK is a science-led global healthcare company aiming to improve the quality of life for humans by helping people do more, feel better, and live longer. Their pharmaceuticals business has a broad portfolio of medicines in respiratory, HIV, immune-inflammation, and oncology.

GSK has over 94,000 employees working across 96 markets, with 12,000+ people working in research and development. In 2020, pharmaceuticals generated over $23 billion out of a group turnover of over $46 billion. In the same year, more than $6 billion was invested in research and development, 40 new medicines were developed, and 17 new vaccines were in development.


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