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The 20 Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies in the World 2022


The pharmaceutical industry grew in the past few years because of the need for vaccines and medicines to treat Covid-19. It's one of the few industries that benefited from The pandemic, and it caused shifts in the wealth and productivity of some of the largest players with some moving up a few positions to top dog. Finally, here are the 20 biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world for 2022 as ranked by revenue earned by the close of 2021 with their leading drugs/candidates.

20. Regeneron

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $12.117 Billion

Pharm reports that the 20th largest pharmaceutical company in the world for 2022 is Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. The headquarters are In Tarrytown, New York. The company brought In $12.117 billion In drug sales for 2021 and spent $2.864 billion In research and development expenses. However, the leading prescription drugs for The company are Ronapreve, with 5.828 billion In sales, Elea with $5.792, and Libtayo with$ 306 million. Regeneron is making significant contributions to improving the health of humans around the world.

19. Viatris

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $17.508 billion

Viatris is among the largest pharmaceutical company In Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Overall sales for The year ending 2021 were $17.508 billion. Vitatris spent $642 million on research and development expenses with its leading drug sales of1.663 billion for The cholesterol drug Lipitor, followed by sales of $1.100 billion for The drug Fluticasone Propionate, Salmeterol Xinafoate, and $825 million for The drug Norvasc. Viatris is a leader in the production of life-saving heart and cardiovascular treatments.

18. Boehringer Ingelheim

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $17.806 billion

Boehringer Ingelheim is a European pharmaceutical company with its headquarters In Ingelheim, Germany. The total The company paid for research and development expenses was $4.392 billion. Jardiance was The leading drug for 2021 with sales of $3.187 billion, followed by $2.929 billion for Ofev, and 1.837 billion for Tradjenta. The anti-diabetic medication is widely prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes to control blood sugar levels.

17. Moderna Pharmaceuticals

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $19.167 billion

Moderna pharmaceutical is a leader In sales for its Covid-19 vaccine Spikevax. Headquarters for The company is In Cambridge, m. The two-stage vaccine brought In a total of $17.675 billion In Rx sales for 2021. Moderna's sales for The year were $19.167 billion with expenses for research and development. The company is a leading manufacturer of mRNA therapies that alter instructions sent to the immune system in the body to prevent disease and treat existing conditions.

16. Bayer

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $20.119 billion

Bayer is a name brand that most American households easily recognize because of The Aspirin and other products that The company has provided for decades. It is a European pharmaceutical company based In Leverkusen, Germany. The total Rx sales for 2021 were $20.119 billion with research and development expenses of $3.716 billion. The drugs leading sales were Ozempic with $5.366 billion, followed by NovoRapid's $2.538 billion, and Victoza with sales of $2.397 billion. The company has more than forty drugs in the pipeline for anti-cancer drugs and some to treat cardiac issues.

15. Novo Nordisk

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $21 billion

Get ReSkilled reports that Norvo Nordisk is The fifteenth largest pharmaceutical company In The world by revenue. The company spent nearly $3 billion In research and development for its chief candidate drugs to treat diabetes, helping approximately 35 million patients. Its headquarters are In Bagsvaerd, Denmark. Saxenda achieved rapid international growth, along with Wegovy, aka semaglutide, a treatment for obesity management. Novo Nordisk is a company that focuses on sustainability and environmental concerns In The production of its products, and it remains committed to cutting CO2 emissions.

14. Gilead Sciences

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $ 24.70 billion

Gilead Sciences is The fourteenth largest pharmaceutical company In The world for 2022. Its headquarters is In Foster City, California, USA. By The end of 2020, its Rx sales skyrocketed with strong sales for The Covid-19 therapy drug Veklury, also known As Remdesivir. Gilead Sciences earned a place In The history books with The first Covid-19 therapy drug to receive approval from The United States Food and Drug Administration In 2020. sales continued to rise through 2021.

The company experienced a Growth spurt when it acquired MYR GmbH In 2021, After acquiring Forty-Seven, an immune-oncology company The year before. It spent more than $5 billion on research and development of current treatments In its pipeline, however, the pandemic harmed sales of its Hepatitis C and HIV treatment drugs, however, Gilead Sciences has emerged as a leader in its production of Covid-19 treatments.

13. Amgen Inc

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $26 billion

Amgen Inc is headquartered In Thousand Oaks, California, USA. sales of its drugs Lumakras/Lumykras generated revenues that took Amgen Inc to The top of its game with a record In revenue for 2021. The United States Food and Drug Administration approved The drug as The first of its kind for The treatment of certain kinds of small cell lung cancer. A second drug called Tezsire earned The approval of The FDA for The treatment of some types of severe asthma. Amgen also expanded The use of The drug Otezla, known As Apremilast for The treatment of all types of plaque psoriasis with sales also increasing with The new indications approved for its prescription to patients. Amgen Inc spent slightly under $5 billion for its research and development with total revenues of slightly under $26 billion for 2021.

12. Takeda

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $28.30 billion

Takeda is a Japanese pharmaceutical company that maintains a global presence in 80 countries with a full pipeline of assets at the clinical stage. One of its leading drugs is Livtencity, also known as Maribavir. The drug treats infections occurring after transplants. Other FDA-approved pharmaceutical products on the market today include Exkivity, or Mobocertinib for treating non-small cell lung cancer, and Takhzyro for the prevention of a hereditary medical issue called angioedema. The company spent more than $4 billion in research and development and continues to create candidate treatments for a broad spectrum of medical issues for humans.

11. Eli Lilly

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $28.30 billion

Eli Lilly is based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. The company is one of the oldest pharmaceutical businesses in the United States. It spent more than $7 billion in research and development for its massive lineup of treatments for the Covid-19 virus, oncology, immunology, diabetes, neurosciences, and other treatments and therapies. It's dedicated to researching therapies that are resilient to variants of the evolving SARS-CoV-2 variants including the BA.2 version of the Omicron variant. Some of its best-selling drugs in the past few years include Taltz, Jardiance, Versenio, Olumiant, and bebtelovimiab. Drugs currently in the pipeline in various stages of development include bebrikizumab, lebrikizumab, pirtobrutinib, donanemab, and tirzepatide.

10. GlaxoSmithKline

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $32.10 billion

ProClinical lists GlaxoSmithKline as the tenth biggest pharmaceutical company in the world for 2022. The business has its headquarters in the United Kingdom.GSK is on an upward trend in its revenues with its massive pipeline of drugs and therapies for vaccines, biological, and pharmaceuticals, with a stream of treatments receiving FDA approval for distribution, and a constant stream lined up for approval.

A leading drug for 2021 was its antibody treatment for Covid-19, called Xevudy. GSK consistently merges with other successful pharmaceutical companies, with its most recent, Glaxo Wellcome plc, and SmithKline Beecham plc in 2000. Plans are underway to create Haleon this year. It's a new pharmaceutical under the GSK umbrella that will result from its planned demerger with the consumer healthcare segment of the business. However, the new focus of GSK will lie in developing specialty medicines and vaccines.

9. Sanofi S.A.

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $36.55 billion

Sanofi's headquarters is in Paris, France, with classification as a multinational pharmaceutical company. It's the ninth largest in the world as ranked by annual revenue. Its products are sold in more than 100 countries throughout the world. Sanofi S.A. researches and develops pharmaceutical products for vaccines, specialty care, and general medicine for healthcare industries worldwide. Some of the leading products are Dupixen, a treatment for the skin condition Eczema. They did well in sales for influenza vaccines through the third quarter, with sales dropping off as influenza vaccination rates went into a decline in 2021. However, they also produce therapies and treatments for immunology, inflammation, and oncology, with many candidate drugs currently in the pipeline.

8. AstraZeneca

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $37.4 billion

AstraZeneca's headquarters are in Cambridge, England, United Kingdom. The 8th largest pharmaceutical company in the world today has experienced "double-digit growth" in Rx sales with treatments for oncology, respiratory issues, gastrointestinal disorders, infections, inflammation, cardiovascular treatments, and neurological disorders. AstraZeneca's focus is broad and covers multiple segments of the healthcare industry with its acquisition of numerous smaller pharmaceutical companies including Alexion, which opened the doors for further research and development of treatments for rare diseases. However, the leading drug for 2021 was Evusheld for preventing Covid-19 infections in persons with a weak immune response.

7. Merck & Co., Inc

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $42.74 billion

Merck & Co. Inc's headquarters is in New Jersey, USA. It's the 7th largest pharmaceutical company ranked by revenue for 2022. Merck engages in the research, development, and sales of pharmaceuticals for animal health and wellness, as well as for humans. Its leading product for human treatment is Keytruda, a therapy that helps to extend the life of people living with melanoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, and cancers of the breast, cervix, stomach, head, neck, and lung. It became the leading product with blockbuster sales, along with increased sales of hospital acute care products, vaccines, and drugs to treat diabetes and cancers. However, Merck has plans to acquire Acceleron Pharma for a price of $11.5 billion, which will broaden the base of its products and candidates in the pipeline for FDA approval.

6. Bristol-Myers Squibb

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $46.4 billion

Bristol-Myers Squibb is another old pharmaceutical company that has been in business for 135 years as of 2022. The headquarters is in New York City, New York. It's a global player in the pharmaceutical industry, known for its innovations in treatments for hematology, immunology, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Its leading product is a stroke medication called Eliquis. Other products driving high revenues are its new immune-oncology therapies, along with continued high sales of previous drugs in various areas of health and wellness regimens.

However, BMS is the sixth biggest pharmaceutical company in the world for 2022, but it wouldn't be surprising to see it move up a few notches shortly. Furthermore, its research and development segment is working on dozens of new products that will become candidates for FDA approval. It's a strong and stable company that continues to advance in the improvement of medications and treatments to enhance human health and longevity.

5. F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $48.47 billion

Fierce Pharma reports that Hoff-mann=La Roche AG made the top five largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, ranked by revenue. It's most commonly known as Roche Pharmaceuticals. Its headquarters are in Basel, Switzerland, but the company established its global status with its dual focus on pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche AG is a little different than some other companies as it functions as a holding company with multiple pharmaceutical companies under its umbrella and as an investment. Furthermore, sales rankings are high because of its three "megablockbuster" biosimilar drugs, developed to treat cancer. However, they are the latest of its innovative line of drugs that fight cancer.

The company confirmed that it's in the process of producing yet more new drugs in the oncology treatment arena as candidates for FDA approval. Roche works in the two main areas of antibody drugs and biosimilars. It is worth noting that Roche was previously the wealthiest pharmaceutical company in the world until recently when it slipped four spaces on the list. The competition in the pharmaceutical industry is high, and the companies in the top ten places are likely to continue to play musical chairs with revenue ups and downs in the next few years ahead. Fortunately, Roche has a chance of moving back up the list because of its 14 new molecular entity-class treatments that are entering late-stage trials.

4. Novartis International AG

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $51.60 billion

Novartis International AG is in Basel, Switzerland. The company has a long-standing history of researching and developing innovative breakthroughs in medicines that go back more than 250 years. Its lead product is Entresto, approved for heart failure treatment, and recently for arthritis treatments. However, other high-selling drugs include the spinal muscular atrophy drug Cosentyx, Zolgensma, for treating MS, Kesimpta, to treat severe aplastic anemia, and Promacta/Revolade for breast cancer treatment.

3. Johnson & Johnson

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $52.80 billion

Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 single-dose vaccine gained USFDA approval in the first quarter of 2021, skyrocketing its early sales for the year but dropping off with issues related to side effects. Furthermore, J&J has a long history of pharmaceutical research, development, and production of consumer health products and medical devices for distribution globally. The Brunswick, New Jersey pharmaceutical company is the third largest in revenues for 2022 with its leading product Temfya, for treating psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis. Darzalex is a leader in multiple myeloma treatment. Another top-seller is Stelara, for treating immune-related inflammation issues. However, it's another top-selling product for treating prostate cancer, with its antipsychotic drug Invega for schizophrenia treatment in adults.

2. AbbVie Inc

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $56.20 billion

AbbVie Inc's headquarters is in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The company is a spinoff of Abbott Pharmaceuticals. It rose to become the second biggest company in Rx sales globally for 2022. However, AbbVie has existed since 2013 with an impressive track record for success since separating from Abbott. Its research and development divisions employ over 47,000 experts in drug and treatment development. However, the company focuses on finding treatments for diseases that are difficult to cure. They offer hope for millions in need of medical solutions. Its leading product is Humira, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis that emerged as a blockbuster drug in the global market. Sales are up for other areas of its focus in immunology, neuroscience, and oncology. AbbVie Inc has R&D locations in more than 70 countries.

1. Pfizer Inc

  • 2021 Rx Sales: $81.30 billion

Pfizer Inc is the number one pharmaceutical company in revenue. It jumped five places over the past year to emerge as the largest. Pfizer's vaccine for Covid-19 has been a boost in sales. It focuses on biopharmaceuticals. Most of its work is on discovery and development, securing FDA approval, and manufacturing and marketing its products globally. It's currently working with BioNTech to produce a vaccine for shingles based on mRNA discovery. The company manufactures and sells treatments for neurological diseases, oncology, immunology, and cardiology. Paxlovid was its top drug, securing FDA approval for the treeatment of Covid-19, with Comirnaty, its top-selling Covid-19 vaccine. The headquarters are in New York, New York.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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