The top 10 largest pharmaceutical companies by revenue in 2017 are leading companies that have a large geographical presence, loyal customer base and technologically advanced manufacturing and R&D facilities. Though their businesses are recession-proof, a huge portion of their expenses has to be allocated to research and development to stay ahead of the competition.
Medicine has made great progress over the last century, with the average life expectancy of people worldwide doubling over that time. Today the medical industry has unveiled many innovative treatments for serious diseases. Thanks to systematic vaccinations, we are close to eradicating polio, and reducing the death rate caused by awful diseases like sleeping sickness, dengue and many other such dreadful sicknesses which infect millions of people each year.
Though huge advancements have been made in this regard, a third of the world’s population still has no access to healthcare. The Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asian regions still lack clean drinking water, proper sanitation systems and are at risk of food shortages. This section of the global population is the most prone to diseases and healthcare still remains beyond their means.
It is true that the era is experiencing an unprecedented change in healthcare. But still, a lot more needs to be done. Well-trained staff, healthcare equipment, and basic medicines are still lacking in many parts of the world. New technologies, services and ideas are needed to deliver better results for businesses and patients. The top 10 largest pharmaceutical companies by revenue in 2017 are at the forefront of that transformation. They are also aiming towards the greater integration of diagnosis and treatment being done through the use of digital technologies and applications.
These large pharmaceutical companies have been in the industry over several decades and some even for a century, and therefore have built a strong competitive moat around their businesses. It is very difficult for any new entrant to build a level of trust with new medical brands. It takes years of R&D, long gestation times and huge sums of money to establish a foothold in the industry. Other strong entry barriers are ownership of intellectual property rights and strict regulatory compliance. These companies also benefit as drug demand is immune to the vagaries of economic cycles. All these competitive advantages allow these pharmaceutical companies to make monopolistic profits for any new product for long periods of times.
The healthcare sector has a bright future both in developed and developing countries. A fast-growing aging population in Japan, the U.S, and Europe is the major demand driver in developed nations, while improving affordability in developing nations like India should increase demand for medicinal products.
Below is a list of the top 10 largest pharmaceutical companies by revenue in 2017 based on their reported revenue, as reported by Forbes. The list is arranged in order of increasing revenue using the latest annual revenue reported by the companies. Four of these companies are headquartered in the United States.
Head on to the next page to begin the list!
For further pharmaceutical-related reading, you might want to take a look at the 11 Largest Pharmaceutical Companies In The World.