An error occured. Details Hide
You have unsaved pages. Restore Cancel

As of 2014, the global pharmaceutical market was worth about $1 trillion US dollars in sales and is expected to increase by US$300 billion within next two years. The ten largest companies with annual sales over $20 billion controlled over one-third of this market. The biggest pharmaceutical companies by sales according to the 2015 edition of Financial Times Global 500 companies are Jonhson & Johnson, Pfizer, Novartis, Roche, and Merck.

  • First ranked company, Jonhson & Johnson, is engaged in R&D, manufacture, and sale of products in the field of human health and well-being. Headquartered in New Jersey, USA, the company operates more than 250 companies with about 126,500 employees total in more than 60 countries.
  • Although Johnson & Johnson is number one by sales, it is third by R&D expenditure among pharmaceutical companies, giving way to Novartis and Roche.
  • While the headquarters of the top 10 are equally divided between the US and Europe, North America accounted for 45 percent of world pharmaceutical sales in 2015 compared to 25 percent for Europe.

The industry is poised for rapid market expansion and R&D growth - which is of particular importance to the pharmaceutical industry - in developing countries such as Brazil, China, and India that could foreshadow a significant market shift for the industry. Today, the pharmaceutical industry, as well as information and communications technology and automobiles, is considered to be a highly R&D intensive sector with an average of 13 percent of net sales dedicated to R&D. Of the world's top 2,500 companies that invested in R&D in 2014 - spending a €607.2 billion, or about 90% of the world's total - 316 were from the pharma & biotech sector. These companies' combined R&D spending accounted for 15 percent of the global R&D investment that year. Moreover, the pharma & biotech industry achieved an R&D spending increase that was 6.8 percent above the world average in 2014.

However significant R&D expenditures are relative to the global net sales of the industry, the R&D price tag is only half as much as pharma companies' expenditures on marketing and far exceeds spending on public information on health. This leads to a conflict of interest between the business goals of manufacturers and social needs to select drugs based on best information available. Pharmaceutical companies have a role to play across several aspects of public health promotion and education, particularly in relation to shifting demographics and deficits in public health care. 

  • Developed country populations are rapidly aging. The elderly consume nearly seven times the health care resources as younger populations, putting a burden on the access and affordability of complex combinations of pharmaceuticals. 
  • Demographic challenges take a slightly different form in developing economies, where local economies are not growing fast enough to meet the health care demands of expanding middle classes, thus requiring external support.
  • Three out of eight Millennium Development Goals are related to healthcare - reduce child mortality, improve maternal health and combat HIV, AIDS, malaria and other diseases - further underscoring the need for diverse policy tools and a collaborative global response that includes participation from the information and resource rich pharmaceutical sector.

Related Data Insights

Apple iPhone Sales Worldwide, 2012-2016

During the second quarter of 2016, Apple sold 51.2 million iPhones worldwide. This is a decrease of 16.3 percent, or about 10 million units, compared to the same quarter in 2015. While all other major Apple products - iPhone, iPad, and iMac - likewise experienced negative year-on-year sales growth during the second quarter, the iPhone is uniquely critical to revenue growth for Apple, accounting for 78 percent of sales volume and 65 percent of sales value for the company. The bad news did not end there for the global brand, with deteriorating performance in total revenue, most geographic segments, and select other products also...

America's Fortune 500 Companies

Key financial indicators data of listed companies that belong to America's Fortune 500 list. It covers both Quarterly & Annual data. In total, Fortune 500 companies represent two-thirds of the U.S. GDP with $12 trillion in revenues, $840 billion in profits, $17 trillion in market value, and employ 27.9 million people worldwide. Companies are ranked by total revenues for their respective fiscal years. Included in the survey are companies that are incorporated in the U.S. and operate in the U.S. and file financial statements with a government agency. This includes private companies and cooperatives that file a 10-K or a comparable financial...

McDonald's vs Subway: Which Has the Bigger Restaurant Chain?

McDonald's and Subway are two of the world's largest international fast food restaurant chains. Each company possesses a strong brand and is an established name in the casual eating restaurant industry. With 44,805 locations worldwide, Subway beats out McDonald's as the largest global chain. McDonald's currently has 36,525 locations globally. So, what's behind this difference in global positioning? And, are the differences meaningful beyond number of restaurants?  Ownership Structure The most important general difference between the two companies is that McDonald's is a public company while Subway is privately owned. The common stock of...

Number of Starbucks Stores Globally, 1992-2016

Today Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with 24,395 retail locations as of the first quarter of 2016, followed distantly by such coffee shop chains as Dunkin Donuts with about 10,000 restaurants, Tim Hortons with 4,300 outlets, and Costa Coffee with nearly 1,700 stores worldwide. Starbucks was founded in 1971 in Seattle, Washington, and incorporated on November 4, 1985 to become the publicly traded Starbucks Corporation. Based on the company's positive, sustained operating results, it is ranked among Forbes' top-500 world's biggest public companies. As of 2015, Starbucks' profit was $2.5 billion and it had a market...