The Top 10 Pharma Companies by Revenue


In 2022, for the first time in biopharma history, a company topped the $100 billion mark in ...

Rebecca O'Rourke

By Rebecca O'Rourke

In 2022, for the first time in biopharma history, a company topped the $100 billion mark in annual revenue. Whether researching, developing, or distributing vital healthcare and medicinal products, these companies are at the forefront of the pharma industry.

In this blog, we will be exploring the growth of the pharmaceutical industry, its future outlook, and the top 10 pharma companies based on their 2022 revenue.

The Growth of the Pharmaceutical Industry

The pharma market has experienced significant growth during the past two decades, and pharma revenues worldwide total $1.48 trillion. The industry drives medical progress by researching, developing, and bringing new medicines that improve health and quality of life to patients around the world. However, the expanding industry also serves as a key asset of the economy.

The impact of Covid-19 had a staggering effect on the supply and demand of the industry globally compared to pre-pandemic levels. Healthcare investments are also growing rapidly according to Fortune Business Insights, as advancements

In 2022, most of the key players in the industry saw significant growth in profit, with blockbuster drugs bringing in increased revenue despite biosimilars being more prevalent than ever.

1. Pfizer

2022 Revenue: $100.33 billion

Pfizer has been a staple in the pharma industry since their conception over 170 years ago, when Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart established the company in New York. The company currently discover, develop, and provide over 150 different medicines and vaccines in the remit of anti-infectives, inflammation and immunology, internal medicine, oncology, rare diseases, and vaccines, the most recognisable of which being their Covid-19 vaccine offering.

Accelerated by the 2020 pandemic and the continued need for Covid-19 related products, Pfizer topped the boards and displaced Johnson & Johnson for the first time in a decade. The $100.33 billion profits were an all-time high for the company, but with their Covid vaccine bringing in $36.8 billion of that revenue and their antiviral covid medicine ‘Paxlovid’ contributing another $18.9 billion in 2022, it remains unseen if their profits will decrease in the coming year.

2. Johnson & Johnson

2022 revenue: $94.94 billion

Arguably the world’s largest and most well-known producer of health-related goods, Johnson & Johnson are most known for producing pharmaceuticals, consumer health products and medical devices. Some of their most recognisable consumer brands include Band-Aids, Johnson’s Baby products, Aveeno, and Neutrogena.

For the first time in a decade the global healthcare conglomerate was knocked from the top spot. Founded in 1886 in New Jersey, the company has since grown to have goods in 250 subsidiaries, contributing largely to its consistently high profits. Approximately half of their sales come from their pharmaceutical division, Janssen. Their pharma business generated $52.56 billion last year, profits which were accumulated from their cancer drugs Darzalex and Erleada, immunology medication Stelara and psoriasis treatment Tremfya, among others.

3. Roche

2022 revenue: $66.26 billion

From their conception 125 years ago, Roche has become one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Having evolved into a global leader in the industry, they specialise in diagnostics and pharmaceuticals, with dominance in cancer treatments due to their popular drugs, Rituxan, Herceptin and Avastin. Over thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organisation Model Lists of Essential Medicines, including many life-saving antibiotics. The company also strongly focuses on diagnostics, making important advances in diagnostic methods and innovative medicines over the years.

The Switzerland-based company made 63.28 billion Swiss francs ($66.26 billion) in 2022 but are not without struggles as they battle against US biosimilar products. However, the team have an array of blockbuster drugs on the market such as Evrysdi, a self-administered spinal muscular atrophy treatment, multiple sclerosis drug, Ocrevus and haemophilia A therapy, Hemlibra.

4. Merck & Co.

2022 revenue: $59.28 billion

Merck & Co was originally established as an American affiliate of Merck Group in 1891 but has since grown into a pharmaceutical giant in its own right. They develop and produce medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and animal health products. The company are known for their vaccination prowess, discovering, developing, and supplying vaccinations for over 130 years, in 2022 it distributed 203 million doses around the world.

Their cancer treatment Keytruda brought in $20.9 billion in revenue in 2022 and Covid-19 oral antiviral treatment Lagevrio generated $5.68 billion, a significant increase from the year prior. However, the latter has faced pushback in both the US and the EU in recent months, as questions regarding its effectiveness threaten the company’s profits.

5. AbbVie

2022 revenue: $58.05 billion

A somewhat newer company in the mix, AbbVie launched in 2013 as a biopharmaceutical company when it separated from healthcare company Abbott. It has since invested around $50 billion in research to discover, develop, and deliver new medicines.

This US-based company has cemented itself in this list primarily due to its immunology drug Humira, which generated $21.24 billion last year. However, the blockbuster drug faces competition from biosimilar products in Europe and has recently lost its US exclusivity meaning competition is higher than ever. The company is putting more energy behind other immunology offerings such as Skyrizi and Rinvoq, while another top AbbVie drug Imbruvica, their haematology and oncology offering, has seen a decline in profit from 2021.

6. Novartis

2022 revenue: $58.05 billion

Switzerland-based pharma giants Novartis was born out of a Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz merger in 1996, However their medicinal roots date back much further. The company is comprises of two main divisions, Innovative Medicines which commercialises patented medicines and Sandoz, their generic pharmaceuticals arm. After a major company overhaul in 2022, Novartis has recently adopted a US-first mindset, with hopes to become a top-five drug maker in the US by 2027. The company also plan on turning Sandoz into a publicly traded, standalone business creating Europe’s largest generics company and as of June 2023, Novartis also agreed to acquire U.S. biotech firm Chinook Therapeutics in the race for a rare kidney disease treatment.

In 2022, Novartis drug Entresto brought in $4.6 billion in profits behind inflammatory disease therapy Consentyx, their best-selling drug, which brought in $4.8 billion. Multiple Sclerosis drug Kesimpta became a blockbuster with sales doubling to $1.1 million from the previous year.

7. Bristol Myers Squibb

2022 revenue: $46.16 billion

Headquartered in New York, Bristol Myers Squibb manufactures prescription pharmaceuticals and biologics for treating cancer, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psychiatric disorders. Conceived in its current form from a merger in 1989, the company began its legacy in the 1800s.

Unlike most companies on the list, Bristol Myers Squibb experienced a drop in sales by 0.5% from 2021. This is potentially due to the loss of exclusivity on their blockbuster multiple myeloma drug Revlimid, which saw a drop of 22% between 2021 and 2022. Sales of their anticoagulant Eliquis brought in $11.8 billion last year, meanwhile, cancer immunotherapy Opdivo generated $8.2 billion.

8. Sanofi

2022 revenue: $45.22 billion

French biopharma giant Sanofi is commonly known for being the first worldwide supplier of the injectable polio vaccine, followed by the first influenza, meningitis, and rabies vaccines. Their portfolio of vaccines protects around half a billion people worldwide. The corporation covers six other major areas, those being cardiovascular, central nervous system, diabetes, internal medicine, oncology, and thrombosis.

In 2022 the company saw a 7% growth in profit, thanks in part to their dermatitis drug, Dupixent, which generated €8.3 billion last year, almost a 44% increase from the previous year. The company expect the profits to reach over €10 billion this year.

9. AstraZeneca

2022 revenue: $44.35 billion

Another biopharma company to become a household name since the 2020 pandemic is AstraZeneca. The British-Swedish company has headquarters in Cambridge and a large portfolio of products in the oncology, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, infection, neuroscience, respiratory, and inflammation areas. The company provided one of the key offerings in the battle for the Covid-19 vaccine, pairing up with Oxford University to bring the vaccine to the masses.

Alexion, a subsidiary of AstraZeneca brought in $7.1 billion in 2022, primarily due to their blockbuster drugs Soliris and Ultomiris. Last year, the company’s growth came from SGLT2 inhibitor Farxiga, brought in $4.4 billion. Their lung cancer treatment Tagrisso, PD-LW inhibitor Imfinzi and BTK inhibitor Calquence brought double-digit growth in 2022.

10. GSK

2022 revenue: $36.15 billion

Another Cambridge-based biopharma company is GSK, a global leader in developing medicines for respiratory disease and HIV, with an additional focus on immunology and oncology. The company had humble beginnings in London in 1715 and has since gone on to produce the first vaccine of its kind 11 times, providing immunisation against rubella, varicella, recombinant hepatitis B (1986), hepatitis A (1992), combined hepatitis A & B (1996) and a variety of innovative combined vaccines.

The company underwent several changes in 2022, abandoning its GlaxoSmithKline naming and adopting the more recognised GSK. The company also saw a 13% growth, their shingles vaccine Shingrix contributing £3 billion to their sales.

Future Outlook for the Pharmaceutical Industry

Pharma companies are experiencing a new wave of innovation; with disruptive technology such as AI, 3D printing and precision medicine making waves, the potential for new and lifesaving and life-changing discoveries is at an all-time high.

The global pharma market will be worth 1.7 trillion US dollars by 2025. It is predicted that the major players will be the United States of America and China, who will represent more than half of the businesses. Over the next five years, there will be an increasing opportunity for generics and biosimilars.

The industry also looks to adapt after the 2020 pandemic, as launching numerous vaccination campaigns put tremendous pressure on global healthcare budgets. Between 2021 and 2026, the COVID-19 global incremental spending is anticipated to total $251 billion, so companies must adapt to this new normal and put prevention at the forefront of their research.

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