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Merck & Co.: top-selling drugs 2017-2019, by revenue

Keytruda is not only Merck & Co.’s top product but also one of the best-selling drugs worldwide, generating some 11 billion U.S. dollars in revenue during 2019. The cancer drug with the generic name pembrolizumab increased its revenues for some four billion U.S. dollars compared to 2018. Another of Merck’s top ranked pharmaceuticals based on revenue is Januvia, a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. Oncology and diabetes are two major focus areas of Merck & Co.

Company background

Merck & Co. is a global pharmaceutical company with an interesting historical background. Originally a German company, its operations located in the U.S. were confiscated during World War I and established as a new independent American company. The rest of the company - today known as Merck KGaA – is also still active as a chemical-pharmaceutical company. Both Mercks’ roots can be traced back to 1668 in Darmstadt, Germany, making it the world’s oldest still operating pharmaceutical companies. Today, the American Merck is significantly larger than the German counterpart.

Merck’s top product Keytruda

In 2018, Keytruda was ranked third among the top cancer drugs worldwide based on revenue. The oncology market was for years dominated by Roche’s top products Rituxan, Herceptin, and Avastin, as well as Celgene’s Revlimid. However, projections show us that Merck’s Keytruda is expected to be the top oncology drug latest by 2024, with a total revenue of nearly 13 billion U.S. dollars. Keytruda is an innovative cancer immunotherapy which is approved by the FDA for several types of cancer.

Top selling products of Merck & Co. based on revenue from 2017 to 2019

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Release date

February 2020



Survey time period

2017 to 2019

Supplementary notes

* M-M-R II/Varivax.

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