Top pharmaceutical products by sales worldwide 2019

Similar to the years before, U.S. company AbbVie’s Humira maintained its place as the global top ranked drug based on revenue. During 2019, Humira generated 19.2 billion U.S. dollars in revenue, a slight decrease from nearly 20 billion dollars the year before. The second ranked drug in 2019 was Keytruda, marketed by Merck & Co., crossing the double digit billion mark for the first time.

Top drug Humira

Humira is used mostly for the treatment of rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis. However, like many other top drugs, the range of medical conditions it can be used to treat is much larger. Thus, the drug is also used to treat Crohn’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, uveitis, and some other autoimmune diseases. Humira is administered subcutaneously via injection. It was approved for the first time in 2002 in the United States.

Blockbuster drug reliance

Blockbuster drugs often have a large impact on the manufacturer. In some cases, pharmaceutical companies are highly dependent on their sales performance. In the case of Humira, AbbVie generates over 60 percent of its total revenue from this drug and over 80 percent from its top 3 products. Companies that depend on a small number of blockbuster drugs could be under threat of heavy revenue loss. Biosimilars of Humira (adalimumab) are already available and will take more and more of the market in the years to come. Thus, Humira will not exceed the 20 billion-dollar-revenue mark but will more likely suffer from a distinct revenue decrease until 2024.

Leading pharmaceutical products by sales worldwide in 2019

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Release date

March 2020



Survey time period


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Statistics on "Top pharmaceutical drugs"

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