Top 10 Largest Pharmaceutical Companies in the World


People have been making all kinds of remedies from plants and other natural substances to cure illnesses and ailments. Since the discovery of penicillin at the latest, drugs have become an indispensable part of today’s world. A large number of diseases have been cured thanks to modern science and medical research. These days, pharmaceuticals are manufactured by research laboratories and giant pharmaceutical companies around the world. They research and develop the latest active ingredients and sell them as original products or generics. In our top 10 list, we show you which companies are among the top 10 pharmaceutical giants worldwide in terms of sales. Also in terms of the best pharmaceutical companies to work for.

10) AstraZeneca, United Kingdom / Sweden

Largest Pharmaceutical Companies , AstraZeneca, United Kingdom Sweden
© Astra Zeneca

The merger of the Swedish Astra AB and the British Zeneca PLC in 1999 resulted in today’s pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca. The company is divided into the headquarters located in Cambridge and the research and development department located near Stockholm. The drugmaker has sales of $ 23.2 billion.

9) Bristol-Myers Squibb, USA

Largest Pharmaceutical Companies , Bristol-Myers Squibb, USA
© Bristol-Myers Squibb

The US group, headquartered in New York, sells drugs for therapy in the areas of immunology, cardiovascular diseases, oncology, HIV and hepatitis B. The annual turnover is 25.2 billion USD.

8) GlaxoSmithKline, United Kingdom

Largest Pharmaceutical Companies , GlaxoSmithKline, United Kingdom
© GlaxoSmithKline

The London-based pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline plc sells pharmaceuticals, vaccines, health products and a wide range of hygiene products. The company invests in the development of new active ingredients and employs every sixth employee in this area. The company has annual sales of $ 31.3 billion.

7) AbbVie, USA

Largest Pharmaceutical Companies , AbbVie, USA
© AbbVie

The biotechnology and pharmaceutical company AbbVie was created by splitting up Abbot Laboratories. The company focuses on research into therapies for hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, endometriosis and a number of other diseases. Its sales are $ 32.4 billion.

6) Sanofi, France

Largest Pharmaceutical Companies , Sanofi, France
© Sanofi

The Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis Group is a pharmaceutical company with a total of over 100,000 employees and sales of USD 34.9 billion worldwide. The company researches vaccines and drugs against diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

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5) Johnson & Johnson, USA

Largest Pharmaceutical Companies , Johnson & Johnson, USA
© Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson was founded in 1886 by three brothers Robert Wood, James Wood and Edward Mead. As a pharmaceutical and consumer goods company, the company now has sales of $ 40.1 billion and sells health products worldwide.

4) Merck Sharp & Dohme, USA

Largest Pharmaceutical Companies , Merck Sharp & Dohme, USA
© Merck Sharp & Dohme


The American pharmaceutical company Merck & Co has its origins in Darmstadt, Germany. In 1668, the founder Friedrich Jakob Merck bought his first pharmacy there, thus laying the foundation for the oldest pharmaceutical company in the world. Today the company has annual sales of $ 40.9 billion.

3) Pfizer, USA

Largest Pharmaceutical Companies , Pfizer, USA
© Pfizer

With sales of USD 43.8 billion, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer is one of the largest in the world. Based in New York. Founded by the German apprentice pharmacist Karl Pfizer, the company expanded very quickly. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Pfizer and the German company Biontech developed the first COVID-19 vaccine.

2) Novartis, Switzerland

Largest Pharmaceutical Companies , Novartis, Switzerland
© Novartis

The formerly separated companies Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz became the Basel pharmaceutical giant Novartis by way of a merger in 1996. Today the pharmaceutical and chemical company impresses with a turnover of 47.4 billion USD. One of the company’s achievements is the drug Zolgensma, which was approved in 2020 against spinal muscular atrophy.

1) Roche, Switzerland

Largest Pharmaceutical Companies , Roche, Switzerland
© Roche

The main areas of research in Basel-based giant Roche are oncology, virology, neurology and transplant medicine. The company also manufactures medical devices. The pharmaceutical company has 97,000 employees and is number one in the pharmaceuticals sector with annual sales of $ 48.2 billion.


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