2019 list of global top 10 biotech and pharmaceutical companies by employees

Johnson & Johnson is the largest pharmaceutical company worldwide by number of employees. As of 2019, the American company with headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey, employed around 135 thousand people all over the world. Bayer from Germany, followed with 115 thousand employees globally. According to some estimates, there are more than five million people working in the global pharmaceutical industry.

A view on Johnson & Johnson

The New Jersey-based company is not a pure pharmaceutical company, thus not all of the aforementioned employees are involved in this segment. Johnson & Johnson has also two other strong business segments: medical devices and diagnostics, and consumer packaged goods, the latter making J&J the largest consumer healthcare company worldwide. Within Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical segment, oncology and immunology are the strongest therapeutic areas.

Pharmaceutical industry employment

Of the roughly five million people employed in the pharmaceutical industry globally, around two thirds are in Asia alone. Interestingly, even if North America is the strongest and most innovative pharmaceutical market, it is only the fourth world region by pharmaceutical employment. In the United States, pharmaceutical employment is significant notably in California, New Jersey, North Carolina, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. As of 2016, California had around 50,500 persons employed in the pharma industry – nearly 17 percent of total U.S. pharma employment.

2019 ranking of the global top 10 biotech and pharmaceutical companies based on employee number

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Release date

August 2019



Survey time period

as of August 2019

Supplementary notes

Date released represents date figures were accessed.

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