Top global pharmaceutical companies based on pharma revenue 2018

This statistic depicts the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies based on pharmaceutical revenue in 2018. In that year, Swiss corporation Novartis generated some 52 billion U.S. dollars of pure pharmaceutical revenue.

Top global pharmaceutical companies

The top pharmaceutical companies when based exclusively on revenue with pharmaceutical products are Pfizer, Novartis, and Roche, as of 2018. The companies generated 53.6 billion U.S. dollars, 51.9 billion U.S. dollars, and 45.6 billion U.S. dollars, respectively, in that year. In the last years, Swiss company Novartis maintained its top 3 ranking. Novartis is a multinational company based in Basel, Switzerland. The company was established in 1996 through the merger of Swiss pharmaceutical companies, Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz Laboratories. One of Novartis' segment consists of over-the-counter drugs such as Excedrin. Excedrin garnered some 78 million U.S. dollars in revenue in the year ended mid-June 2019 in the United States. This is a drug normally marketed as a headache pain reliever and sold in the form of a tablet or caplet.

From the United Sates, Johnson & Johnson was one of the largest biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies as of 2018, generating some 81.6 billion U.S. dollars in total revenue. Johnson & Johnson’s revenue from the company’s top three drugs accounted for some 35 percent of the company’s total pharmaceutical revenues. In 2018, the U.S. pharma industry spent some 62 billion U.S. dollars within the country on pharmaceutical research and development and over 17 billion U.S. dollars abroad.

Top 10 global pharmaceutical companies based on pharma revenue in 2018

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Release date

January 2019



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

This statistic includes only revenues from pharmaceutical segments.

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