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15 Most Valuable Pharmaceutical Companies In The World

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·9 min read
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In this article we are going to list the 15 most valuable pharmaceutical companies in the world. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 5 most valuable pharmaceutical companies in the world.

There is no denying the impact that the global pharma industry has had in the world, and probably been responsible for the drastic improvement in the standard of living as well as the average life expectancy across most places in the world. And while appreciation may been tacit in the past, it has become explicit in the past year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

While over the past century, we've certainly suffered through epidemics and even pandemics as well, only a few came close to the severity and reach of the Covid-19 pandemic. Imagine the developments and breakthroughs made in medicine over the past century. Imagine how the training and studies of doctors have improved by leaps and bounds in the same period. And sure, maybe some of the less developed countries are still behind in terms of medical prowess, the developed nations, especially in the West, are at the peak of medical breakthroughs.

And yet, when the Covid-19 pandemic raged on, there was little to do but hope and pray that things would improve. Doctors and hospitals and governments in even the most developed and sophisticated nations in the world were unable to nip the situation in the bud, and in fact, it was the West which initially saw the most cases and deaths once the virus made the journey across the globe. Europe was declared the epicenter of the pandemic and most nations had to go into lockdowns to try and restrict the spread as hospitals were overwhelmed from the sudden influx of patients, with some countries being forced into having to choose who to save.

15 most valuable pharmaceutical companies in the world
15 most valuable pharmaceutical companies in the world

adriaticfoto/Shutterstock.com

But its actually the response to the pandemic which has set the global pharmaceutical industry apart and the round the clock work undertaken to try and control the situation and save as many people as possible. From the start, when it was clear that the situation was now a pandemic, the talk began to center on the development of vaccines and drugs, which would allow the world to return to normal. However, vaccines take years to develop, approve and then administered safely to the general population. And in many cases, vaccines are never even developed, even many years after the virus is detected.

However, the stakes were never as high as in 2020 with the pandemic, till now, resulting in more than 128 million cases and at least 2.8 million deaths, both of which are most likely vastly underreported. Major pharmaceutical companies, which often have a bad rep and are even referred to as Big Pharma in a negative connotation in the United States, worked round the clock to develop a vaccine, and unprecedentedly, several companies developed working vaccines less than a year from the start of the pandemic, which is an absolutely incredible achievement.

In this way, several companies, including Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE), AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ:AZN), and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), which also rank among the most valuable pharmaceutical companies in the world, have done a titanic work by releasing vaccines that protect against COVID-19. Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE), in partnership with BioNTech, was the first to get its vaccine approved. Moreover, Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE), as well as another company, Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA), were the first to create vaccines that use messenger RNA technology, which has never been used in practice until now. This is remarkable not just because of the role they play in combating the current pandemic, but also because of the potential for future use. Moreover, CDC has recently recommended Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE)'s vaccine for children aged 12 and older. On the other hand, AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ:AZN) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) vaccines use non-replicating viral vector. Both AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ:AZN) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) vaccines made headlines following incidents of blood clots among vaccinated people. Nevertheless, both vaccines are generally deemed safe by regulators across the world. At the same time, other companies, such as Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) focused on developing drugs that could alleviate COVID-19 symptoms and prevent death from the disease. However, there's been minor progress in this area, as the only drug that's been approved is Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD)'s remdesivir.

While the pandemic may have helped to restore the image of pharmaceutical industry and the companies operating within, the industry has historically had a bad rep, especially in the United States. The United States is one of the few countries, especially among developed countries, which does not regulate prices. This allows pharma companies to charge whatever they want and can often charge exorbitant prices, which is why these medicines can often significantly more in America than in other countries. One of the most famous cases in recent history was when Martin Shkreli, who was at the time the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, significantly increased the price of a life saving drug by 5,000% which earned universal condemnation.

The pandemic might have allowed an image rehabilitation exercise but it is important for these pharmaceutical companies to continue building on this, and obtain goodwill. Till then, let's take a look a the most valuable pharmaceutical companies in the world. These valuations are taken from Yahoo Finance and are the latest updated figures for each company which has made our listing. So without further ado, let's take a look at the giants of the pharma industry starting with number 15:

15. Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD)

Total market cap of the company as at March 31, 2021 (in billions of dollars): 82.432

We kick off our list with an American company, Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) which focuses on the research and development of antiviral drugs. The company was founded 33 years ago in 1987 and recorded more than $22.4 billion in sale in 2019, with just 12,000 employees.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD)
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD)

14. GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK)

Total market cap of the company as at March 31, 2021 (in billions of dollars): 82.432

GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK) is a major British pharmaceutical company, which recorded revenues of more than 35 billion GBP in 2020. GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK) company has at least 99,000 employees globally and was founded 20 years ago in 2000.

GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK)
GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK)

Pixabay/Public Domain

13. Sanofi SA (NYSE:SNY)

Total market cap of the company as at March 31, 2021 (in billions of dollars): 123.402

Sanofi SA (NYSE:SNY) is a French pharmaceutical company and teamed with GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK) to develop a vaccine to battle Covid-19, but fell behind other companies in the race to develop the vaccine, despite major deals with the UK and US governments. Nevertheless, the market cap of $123.40 billion places Sanofi SA (NYSE:SNY) among the most valuable pharmaceutical companies in the world.

Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY)
Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY)

Pixabay/Public Domain

12. AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ:AZN)

Total market cap of the company as at March 31, 2021 (in billions of dollars): 131.767

The British-Swedish pharma company is headquartered in Cambridge, England and was founded 21 years ago through the merger of Astra AB and the Zeneca group. As mentioned earlier, AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ:AZN) was one of the first companies to develop a successful Covid-19 vaccine, which has been approved and is currently being administered all over the world.

AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN)
AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN)

Pixabay/Public Domain

11. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY)

Total market cap of the company as at March 31, 2021 (in billions of dollars): 141.866

We have plenty of American companies in our list of the most valuable pharmaceutical companies in the world, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) is one of them. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) is headquartered in New York City. The company recorded revenues of more then $42.5 billion in 2020 alone, though its net income fell to nearly $9 billion. BMS has around 30,000 total employees. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) was founded 134 years ago in 1887.

BMY Bristol Myers Squibb
BMY Bristol Myers Squibb

10. Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN)

Total market cap of the company as at March 31, 2021 (in billions of dollars): 144.958

Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) is an American pharmaceutical company and is considered to be among the biggest biotechnology companies in the world. The company was founded back in 1980, 40 years ago, which makes it one of the most recent companies in our list and recorded revenues of more than $25 billion in 2020, though its net income fell to $7.8 billion. Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) employs at least 22,000 employees across the world and is responsible for at least 5 major acquisitions.

amgen, logo, economy, symbol, deutschland, name, markenname, germany, emblem, berlin, icon, embleme, brand, german, company, marke
amgen, logo, economy, symbol, deutschland, name, markenname, germany, emblem, berlin, icon, embleme, brand, german, company, marke

360b / Shutterstock.com

9. Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE:NVO)

Total market cap of the company as at March 31, 2021 (in billions of dollars): 156.894

Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE:NVO) is a Danish company, which is the biggest pharmaceutical company in Denmark and has production facilities in at least eight countries, making it one of the most valuable pharmaceutical companies in the world. Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE:NVO)'s products are sold in 180 countries globally, while it also employs more than 40,000 employees which contribute to more than $19 billion in sales in 2019 alone.

Novo Nordisk A/S (ADR) (NYSE:NVO)
Novo Nordisk A/S (ADR) (NYSE:NVO)

Pixabay/Public Domain

8. Eli Lily and Co (NYSE:LLY)

Total market cap of the company as at March 31, 2021 (in billions of dollars): 178.468

US-based Eli Lily and Co (NYSE:LLY) has offices in at least 18 countries, though its products are sold in more than a hundred countries globally. Eli Lily and Co (NYSE:LLY) had revenues of more than $22 billion in 2019 and has more than 33,000 employees.

Pixabay/Public Domain

7. Abbvie Inc (NYSE:ABBV)

Total market cap of the company as at March 31, 2021 (in billions of dollars): 188.554

Abbvie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) started off as a spin-off of Abbott Laboratories and is based in the United States, founded 8 years ago in 2013 and with a presence in at least 170 countries across the world, and is also one of the most valuable pharmaceutical companies in the world. Abbvie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) reported around $45.8 billion in revenue in 2020 as well as net income of $4.6 billion in 2020, and has more than 30,000 employees.

AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV)
AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV)

Pixabay/Public Domain

6. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Total market cap of the company as at March 31, 2021 (in billions of dollars): 195.791

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) is one of the biggest European pharmaceutical companies and has 57,000 employees in at least 66 countries globally. The Merck group includes at least 250 companies and had more than 16 billion euros in 2019. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) has also attracted controversy for some practices including alleged price fixing.

Please continue to see which companies rank as the top 5 most valuable pharmaceutical companies in the world.

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Disclosure: None. 15 most valuable pharmaceutical companies in the world is originally published at Insider Monkey.