In this article we are going to list the 20 biggest healthcare companies by revenue. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 10 biggest healthcare companies by revenue. The healthcare industry is one of the biggest industries in the world and is also counted among the most profitable industries in the world, which may seem surprising considering the fact that healthcare should be a basic necessity rather than a luxury, but that is the way the world works right now. The definition of the healthcare industry right now encompasses any goods and services provided to patients with curative, preventive, rehabilitative and palliative care. This means that the definition of a healthcare company goes far beyond just drug companies or biotech companies. While these two types of companies are part of the healthcare industry, there are other healthcare companies which have services bigger than just providing drugs and the revenues to show for it too. This is why the largest biotech companies in the world and the largest drug companies in the world will have entries in the list of the biggest healthcare companies by revenue but none of them will be even close to topping the list.
The healthcare industry is expected to continue growing at a CAGR of 5% from 2019 – 2023, so an already major industry is expected to further expand its reach and spending. This increase in spending has been mainly driven by an ever increasing ageing population, which requires further healthcare. Advances and development in medicine have been instrumental in significantly increasing the quality of life as well as the life expectancy of a person, which is why the average life expectancy has grown significantly over the past several decades. This is especially true for developed countries where such medicine is available for most of the population, and this combined with lower birth rates has ensured that these countries have a significantly large ageing population, who are dependent on further healthcare. On the other hand, people in developing economies have a lower life expectancy due to lack of medicine available for the general population as well as a high birth rate.
Apart from a growing ageing population, other reasons that have seen a rise in healthcare costs include a rise in the prevalence of chronic diseases, technological advancements, infrastructure investments, evolving care models and the expansion of healthcare systems in the aforementioned developing economies. Further investment is being made to ensure that rather than simply treat diseases and illnesses as they occur, focus should be more on their prevention from occurring. Despite these reasons and a healthy CAGR, global healthcare spending actually decreased to 3.2% in 2019 against 5.2% in 2018, due to currency fluctuations as well as trade tensions between major countries and the impact of Brexit. Healthcare spending as a percentage of global GDP is slightly over 10%, and this share is expected to remain the same over the new 3-4 years. Spending is also extremely uneven from country to country, and average spending in the US is more than $12,000 while in Pakistan it is just $45. Emphasis is also being laid on mental illnesses as 450 million people across the world suffer from mental illnesses.
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, many people in the healthcare industry are extremely overworked, with 78% of physicians either often or always experiencing feelings of burnout, while 46% of physicians actually aim to change their career path and 12% want a job where they don’t have to deal with patients. People in the healthcare industry have been overworked and underpaid for decades and this was only exacerbated exponentially once the Covid-19 pandemic hit, which has seen around 73 million cases and more than 1.6 million deaths across the world. Even now, more than 600,000 cases are being detected annually and tens of thousands of people being hospitalized across the world, healthcare has been stretched to breaking point across the world, with people in healthcare having to work round the clock with no days off for months at a time, while ICUs in one of the most advanced countries in the world in Sweden are filled at 99% capacity. While the pandemic has destroyed the economy globally, casting most countries into a recession or depression, it has also shown the importance of healthcare in a country, and also cast a global spotlight on the healthcare workers sacrificing their own health and lives in the pursuit of saving others. Whether this pandemic will be a wake up call for countries to focus more on their healthcare rather than their militaries, only time will tell. But even now, as we see record death tolls and caseloads each day, let’s just take a moment to hope for the best for the people fighting this disease.
The total revenue of the top 20 healthcare companies in the world manages to cross more than $2 trillion. That’s an average of each company having a revenue of $100 billion. Some of these companies are among the largest companies in the world in terms of revenue, which can cross even $200 billion for some companies in the list and is more than $250 billion for our biggest healthcare company by revenue. To determine our list, we have considered the TTM revenue of all major healthcare companies, which has been taken from Yahoo finance for each company, and then ascertained their ranking. TTM refers to trailing twelve months, and we’ve used this metric since the pandemic has had a significant impact on 2020 fortunes of these companies, and rather than taking 2019 revenues, which could be misleading, we’ve taken TTM revenues up to September 2020. So let’s take a look at the companies dominating the healthcare industry, starting with number 20:
20. Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN)
Total TTM revenue till September 2020 (in millions of dollars): 24,987
We kick off our list with Amgen, which has more than 22,000 employees and its biggest selling products include an immunosimulator Neulasta, a tumor necrosis factor blocker Enbrel and other major products which include Vectibix, Prolia and XGEVA.