Top 5 Pharmaceutical Companies of the World Based on Revenue in 2018

Top 5 Pharmaceutical Companies of the World Based on Revenue in 2018

The pharmaceutical industry of the world is expanding rapidly and was valued at USD 1.11 trillion in 2017. It is estimated that this value would reach USD 1.43 trillion by 2020. The growing demand for new medicines and the increasing number of chronic patients is pushing the pharma companies around the world to invest and develop innovative treatments for patients. Research and development have been given significance by these companies and around USD 150 billion are spent every year for this process.

The United States of America accounts for almost 45% of the global pharmaceutical industry, while the markets in China, South East Asia, Europe and South America are steadily emerging. Around 46 new drugs and 1027 generic drugs were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2017. The rising healthcare spending of the world is favouring the growth of novel drugs for several untreated diseases.

Based on the list of ProClinical, below are the top five pharmaceutical companies of the world based on the revenue in 2017-18.


It is the largest pharmaceutical company of the world with a revenue of USD 52.54 billion in 2018. The multinational company is based out of Connecticut, USA, with wide range of products in the areas of immunology, oncology, neurosciences and other rare ailments. The popular products of the company are Ibrance, Eliqus and Xeljanz.


Roche, based in Switzerland is the second biggest pharmaceutical company of the world with a revenue of USD 44.36 billion. Around 12.34% growth was registered in the pharmaceutical segment of the company with top three products contributing for almost 40%. The best-selling products are Herceptin, Avastin, Rituxan, Actemra, and Tecentriq.


Sanofi is the French-based pharmaceutical company that stands in the third position of the list with a revenue of USD 36.66 billion. The pharmaceutical segment of the company grew by 4.2%, which accounts for almost 85% of the total market revenue. Of this, 25% of the revenue came from the top three best-selling drugs Lantus, Lovenox, and Aubagio.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson, which is popular for its baby care products is in the fourth position of global top pharmaceutical companies with the revenue of USD 36.3 billion. It is a 130-year-old company and famous for its products like Aveeno, Neutrogena and Listerine. The 8.3% increase in sales is supported by its best-selling products Stelara, Darzalex, Imbruvica and Zytiga.

Merck & Co. (MSD)

Merck stands as the fifth largest pharmaceutical company in the world with a revenue of USD 35.4 billion, which is based out of the United States of America. Outside of North America, the company is famous for MSD. The popular drugs of the company are cancer immunotherapy Keytruda, HPV vaccine Gardasil and diabetes pill Januvia. The joint sales of Merck’s drugs Januvia and Janument accounted for USD 1.52 billion.

Other than these top five pharmaceutical companies, there are few other companies that contributed to the growth of pharmaceutical industry of the world. Some of those companies are Novartis (revenue of USD 33 billion in 2018), AbbVie (revenue of USD 28.22 billion), Gilead Sciences (USD 25.65 billion), GlaxoSmithKline (USD 24 billion), and Amgen (USD 22.85 billion). The popular drugs of these companies include Repatha, Prolia, Trivicay and Triumeq, Harvoni, Truvada, Epclusa, Humira, Imbruvica, Gleevec, Gilenya, and Cosentyx. These medicines are having extensive applications in the treatment of areas like oncology, immunology, dermatology, neuroscience and respiratory diseases.

On the whole, the pharmaceutical industry of the world with the continuous developments of the above leading companies is poised towards great growth possibilities in the future. Along with the new drug discovery methods and the adoption of emerging technologies, several unmet medical conditions can be treated at affordable prices. The unhealthy lifestyles of the people coupled with the outburst of several unknown epidemics are pushing the pharma companies more to increase their investments in the research and development of innovative medicines.

About Varun Seepathi 40 Articles
With an experience of over 3 years, Varun Seepathi has aided more than 50 medium to small and large firms for foraying into new markets, by increasing footprint in the existing bracket and understanding the ins and outs of these beasts. These beasts are the companies which have been exclusively engaged in materials, chemicals or packaging activities, and have encountered restraints either in the maintenance of P&L or in beating their competitors. He has also authored more than 300 research papers relating to the industry which consist of crucial information such as addressable serviceable market, strategies of players, growth of the market, market size, forecast, market share estimations and winning strategies along with opinions on the same. The “three slope distributor/off-taker evaluation model” currently in use by a lot of multinational companies has also been pioneered by him. A mood driven writer, a professional consultant, and a born explorer, Varun Seepathi is currently working as a full-time consultant. Healthcare, wealth management and information technology are some of the verticals of the industry where he has demonstrated his skills.