Top Pharmaceutical Companies

The top pharmaceutical companies make a global name for themselves through innovation, creation and distribution of lifesaving drugs and medications that improve quality of life.


Based on Forbes calculation of net market capitalization, assets, sales and profit, compiled a list of the ten largest pharmaceutical companies. Five of the largest pharmaceutical companies on earth call the United States home. The other five top drug makers are located in Switzerland, the United Kingdom and France.

The top and leading pharmaceutical companies are:

  • Pfizer, USA
  • Novartis, Switzerland
  • Sanofi, France
  • Roche Holding, Switzerland
  • Merck & Co., USA
  • GlaxoSmithKline, UK
  • AstraZeneca, UK
  • Eli Lilly & Co., USA
  • Abbott Laboratories, USA
  • McKesson, USA


The Largest and Top Pharmaceutical Companies


Pfizer was the top pharmaceutical company in 2014. As of May of that year, the U.S.-based global biopharmaceutical company Pfizer held $203.93 billion in market capitalization and $172.1 billion worth of assets. The research-based, global biopharmaceutical company recorded $52.67 billion in sales and $22 billion in profit in 2013. Pfizer operates within five segments: Primary Care, Specialty Care and Oncology, Established Products & Emerging Markets, Animal Health, and Consumer Healthcare. The company currently employs 77,700 people.



Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company Novartis holds a diversified global healthcare portfolio that includes patent protected prescription drugs, generic pharmaceuticals, animal and consumer healthcare products, and preventative vaccines. The pharmaceutical company is unique in that it is the only global company with leading positions in innovative medicines, eye care and cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals. Novartis enjoyed sales of $57.9 billion and a profit of $9.2 billion in 2013, and ha d a market value of $227.44 billion and $126.3 billion worth assets as of May 2014. Novartis currently has 135,696 employees.



Headquartered in Paris, the multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi focuses on research, production and distribution of pharmaceutical products. Sanofi focuses on pharmaceuticals, human vaccines and animal health. Sanofi has 112,128 employees.


Roche Holding

Founded by Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche in October 1896 and headquartered in Basel, Roche Holding Roche Diagnostics and Roche Pharmaceuticals develop and market diagnostic and therapeutic products. Roche operates through two broad market segments – Roche Pharmaceuticals and Roche Diagnostics. The pharmaceutical company employs 85,050 workers in more than 150 countries.


Merck & Co., USA

Merck operates in four segments of the market: Pharmaceutical, animal health, consumer care, and alliances. The pharmaceutical company is headquartered in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, and employs 76,000 people. Merck & Co. is a global pharmaceutical company with a market value greater than $165 billion and $105 billion in assets as of May 2014.