Annual list of top 50 pharma companies released


Roche repeats at No. 1 position; AbbVie vaults five spots

The latest annual list of the top 50 global biopharma sales producers, published by Pharmaceutical Executive, a Pharmaceutical Commerce sister publication, was recently unveiled. Roche and Novartis again manned the top two spots, but AbbVie jumped from eighth the previous year up to third. Helping propel the latter’s rise was the formal absorption of assets stemming from its acquisition of Allergan, which officially closed on May 8, 2020. The rankings are based on the most recent full-year prescription drug revenue totals, with data provided by Evaluate Ltd.

Rounding out the top five in the Pharma 50 are Johnson & Johnson, with a 7.7% growth in Rx sales, bringing it up two ranks to fourth, and Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) taking the fifth spot once again with a 3% increase. Merck dropped two spots to sixth, and Pfizer, largely in the headlines the past several months for teaming with German biotech BioNTech to develop and make the first emergency use vaccine for Covid-19, fell five spots to eighth. Sitting in-between is Sanofi, at seventh, with a 2.5% increase in revenue versus the previous year. GlaxoSmithKline and Takeda again filled the last two positions in the top 10.

The Pharma 50 rankings also include sales outputs for companies’ top-three-selling products and each organization’s R&D spending totals. Roche repeated as well as biopharma’s top R&D spender, investing $11.3 billion, an increase of 9.8% from the previous year. The company currently has 19 new compounds in Phase III clinical trials or filed for approval. Ranking second in R&D spending, based on 2020 full-year totals, was J&J, followed by BMS, Merck and Pfizer in the top five. The report notes that while market valuations have been mixed among those companies who rapidly developed and deployed vaccines or treatments for Covid, the pandemic has generally be favorable to the financial performance of drug developers.

View the 2021 Pharm Exec 50 here.

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