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Pharmaceutical Giants of 2024: Revealing the Most Prominent Pharmaceutical Companies in the World's Top 10

Pharmaceutical Giants of 2024: Revealing the Most Prominent Pharmaceutical Companies in the World's Top 10

Exploring the Pinnacle of Pharma: Unveiling 2024's Top Pharmaceutical Companies. Discover the Global Leaders in Biopharmaceuticals and Uncover the Top Pharma Companies Shaping the Industry Landscape


Pharmaceutical Giants of 2024: Revealing the Most Prominent Pharmaceutical Companies in the World's Top 10

The pharmaceutical industry is worth $1.48 trillion dollars annually – that’s £1.19 trillion or €1.36 trillion – and is responsible for ‘the discovery, development, and manufacture of drugs and medications’ that offer healthcare solutions which enable us to lead longer and healthier lives, as well as driving the global economy. Here we look at the most prominent pharmaceutical companies in the world's Top 10 and discover where their expertise lies.

The pharmaceutical market nowadays

Pharmaceutical companies nowadays play a leading role in developing treatments for the ten leading causes of death globally – ischaemic heart disease; stroke; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; lower respiratory infections; neonatal conditions; trachea, bronchus, lung cancers; Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias; diarrhoeal diseases; diabetes mellitus; and kidney diseases, and many more besides. 

The top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world in 2024

  1. Pfizer


    With 9% of the worldwide market share, American multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company Pfizer specialises in human medicine and is most famous for Viagra. It also produces medicines for immunology, cardiology, oncology and neurology as well as vaccines for COVID-19 which contribute towards its record total revenue of over $100 billion in 2022. Founded in New York City in 1849 by Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart, Pfizer is now based in Groton, Connecticut, and employs 83,000 people. You can view a copy of its latest annual report here.
  2. AbbVie

    Founded in 2013 and with over 50,000 employees in 70 countries worldwide, American AbbVie’s sales totalled over $58 billion in 2022 due to its immunology and neuroscience specialisms which include oncology, dermatology, metabolic diseases and neurological disorders. Its best-selling rheumatoid arthritis drug, Humira, netted the company over $21 billion last year. Its workforce of 50,000 people each generate an average of $1,160,000 for the company. AbbVie’s annual report can be seen here.
  3. Johnson & Johnson

    Also known as J&J, Johnson & Johnson is based in New Jersey, USA, and manufactures pharmaceuticals as well as medical devices and consumer health goods. Founded in 1886, J&J has grown into one of the largest pharma companies in the world with a 2022 revenue of $52.6 billion, based on its pharmaceutical drug and vaccine sales alone. In 2022 it spent an estimated $14.6 billion on Research & Development helping revenue rise to $95 billion. The company employs over 155,800 people at its New Brunswick headquarters. You can see J&J’s annual report here.
  4. Merck & Co

    Established in 1891 Merck & Co is one of a number of leading pharmaceutical companies that have their headquarters in New Jersey, USA, and it has around 69,000 employees around the world. With a focus on diabetes and cancer biopharmaceuticals, the company also produces vaccines and is involved with animal health. In 2022 its total revenue was almost $59.3 billion thanks to the success of drugs such as Keytruda, a cancer treatment, which accounts for almost 40% of its pharmaceutical sales. You can view the latest company annual report here.
  5. Novartis

    Swiss-based Novartis employs over 100,000 people in 155 countries around the world and is one of the oldest pharmaceutical companies in existence, having been first established over 250 years ago. Its total revenue in 2022 was $50.54 billion thanks to its diverse range of products which includes veterinary medicines, vaccines, contact lenses, generics and biosimilars, as well as drugs such as Clozapine, Carbamazepine and Diclofenac. Novartis’ 2022 annual report can be viewed here
  6. Roche

    Specialising in oncology, ophthalmology, immunology, infectious diseases and neuroscience, pharmaceuticals made up over 70% of Roche’s total 2022 revenue of $69.4 billion. Founded in 1896 by Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche, the Basel, Switzerland, based global healthcare organisation was the first company to synthesize vitamin C at an industrial scale. Its current leading drug is Herceptin – a breast cancer treatment. It employs 103,600 people who specialise either in pharma or diagnostics. The company’s 2022 annual report can be accessed here
  7. Bristol-Myers Squibb

    Based in New York City, USA, BMS can trace its roots back to the early 1800s but assumed its present-day identity in 1989 through the merger of the Squibb Corporation and Bristol Myers & Company. Best known for its range of pharmaceuticals and biologics, it was one of the first pharmaceutical companies to undertake R&D into anti-cancer drugs during the 1970s. With around 35,000 employees, the company focuses on immunology, oncology, cardiovascular disease and haematology with specific interest in conditions such as hepatitis and HIV. In 2022 its total revenue was $46.2 billion. Its annual report can be seen here.
  8. Sanofi

    French-based Sanofi employs over 91,000 people in 90 countries worldwide, and focuses on general medicines, specialty care and vaccines. Its 2022 rebrand means that the company is highly focused on immunology, oncology and inflammation medicines, and its eczema treatment, Dupixent, which has now been approved for eosinophilic esophagitis and asthma, led to a total 2022 revenue of $45 billion. Click here to view Sanofi’s latest annual report.
  9. AstraZeneca

    With a total revenue of over $44 billion for the first time in 2022, Cambridge, UK, based AstraZeneca specialises in preventative medicines, as well as treatments for major disease areas such as oncology, gastrointestinal complaints, neuroscience, infections, inflammation, and cardiovascular. Founded in 1999, the company employs over 83,000 people at over 60 locations in Europe, Africa, the Asia-Pacific region, and the Americas. You can view AstraZeneca’s 2022 annual report here.
  10. GSK

    Formed from the merger of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham in 2000 GSK specialises in biologics, pharmaceuticals and vaccines with a sub-organisation, the Haleon Group, concentrating on consumer healthcare goods. GSK’s focus on biopharmaceuticals led to a total 2022 revenue of $36.75 billion. Based in the UK, GSK employs around 70,000 people who are involved in R&D for products to treat problems such as diabetes, asthma, cancer, viruses, and mental health issues. You can access the latest GSK annual report here

If you’ve got the skills and experience to join one of the world’s pharmaceutical giants or you’re looking for the right talent to join your team call us now on +31 (0)20 2044 502, email us at partner@panda-int.com, or fill in the form here