2019 list of top U.S. biotech and pharmaceutical companies based on revenue

Based on revenue in 2019, Cardinal Health was the leading pharmaceutical company in the United States, according to the FT Global 500. The firm generated approximately 143.5 billion U.S. dollars during the year, which was around 62 billion U.S. dollars more than the next ranked company, Johnson and Johnson.

Positive signs for Cardinal Health

The annual revenue of Cardinal Health has increased each year since 2014, and revenue generated in the United States accounted for a 97 percent share of total revenue in 2019. The company divides its financial results into two segments: pharmaceutical and medical. The pharmaceutical segment focuses on the distribution of branded and generic products in the United States, while the medical segment concentrates on the manufacturing of branded products, which are then sold internationally. The pharmaceutical segment generated around 130 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.

Branded and generic drugs: What are the differences?

Patented products marketed by pharmaceutical companies are referred to as branded. The protection of the patent means that the company, which has spent a large amount of money researching and developing the product, can exclusively sell the drug – often at a high price to recoup its investment. Once the patent expires, other companies may produce generic versions of the product, which contain the same key ingredients.

2019 ranking of the top 10 U.S. biotech and pharmaceutical companies based on revenue (in billion U.S. dollars)*

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Release date

August 2019



Survey time period

as of August 2019

Supplementary notes

* Including only companies that have their headquarters in the United States. Revenues are global totals.
Date released is the date figures were accessed. The source gives no information if data is based on financial or calendar years nor about used exchange rates.
** FT classifies Cardinal Health as a pharmaceutical company, although it is more a diversified health services and (pharmaceutical) distribution company than a pharmaceutical manufacturer as the other ranked companies.

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