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TOP 10: Biggest pharmaceutical companies around the world

Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them. (Photo courtesy of Eli Lilly and Company)

Based on July's market capitalization numbers, these are the 10 biggest pharma companies around the world.

10. GlaxoSmithKline, U.K. | Market cap: US$66.96 billion

Operating in three primary areas of business (pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer health), pharmaceuticals are GlaxoSmithKline’s biggest financial contributor and generated sales of £15.5 billion in 2014, representing 67 percent of the total turnover of GSK.

GSK is focused on a number of global franchises across more than eight therapy areas and a number of platforms, including the emerging bioelectronics technology.

9. Abbott Laboratories, U.S.A. | Market cap: US$72 billion

Abbott Laboratories is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of diversified health care products. More than 73,000 employees in over 150 countries are carrying out Abbott’s mission of advancing global health.

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Abbot has revolutionized packaging and delivery to address regional needs and provide access to medicines in areas previously beyond the reach of health solutions.

8. Eli Lilly & Co., U.S.A. | Market cap: US$91.2 billion

Founded in 1876 by Colonel Eli Lilly, Eli Lilly & Co. now has over 41,000 employees worldwide with products marked in 120 countries.

Eli Lilly was one of the first companies to initiate a bonafide pharmaceutical research program, hiring a pharmaceutical chemist as its first scientist. The company was also one of the first to develop a method to mass-produce penicillin in the 1940s, the world’s first antibiotic, marking the beginning of a sustained effort to fight infectious diseases.

7. AbbVie Inc., U.S.A. | Market cap: US$107.64 billion

Based in Illinois, AbbVie is a global biopharmaceutical company that has the ability to discover and advance innovative therapies and meet the health needs of people and societies around the globe.

Core areas of focus include immunology, kidney disease, liver disease, neuroscience, oncology and women’s health. AbbVie investigates both small and large molecule approaches, and internal research efforts are balanced with external collaborations across industry, academia and healthcare authorities.

6. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., U.S.A. | Market cap: US$108.67 billion

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharma company firmly focused on its mission to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines to patients with serious diseases. In the past seven years, the company has delivered 12 new medicines to patients.

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Around the world, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s medicines help millions of people in their fight against such diseases as cancer, cardiovascular disease, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS and rheumatoid arthritis.

5. Sanofi, France | Market cap: US$128.78 billion

Sanofi is a French multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Paris, France.

Engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs, Sanofi has core strengths in diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and genzyme.

4. Merck & Co., U.S.A. | Market cap: US$165.73 billion

Merck has a long and rich history of working to improve people's health and well-being. Through the years, researchers have helped to find new ways to treat and prevent illness—from the discovery of vitamin B1, to the first measles vaccine, to cold remedies and antacids, to the first statins to treat high cholesterol.

As of August 2014, Merck’s research and development effort has led to the U.S. FDA approval of 63 new drugs.

3. Pfizer, U.S.A. | Market cap: US$209.15 billion

Pfizer has a leading portfolio of products and medicines that support wellness and prevention, as well as treatment and cures for diseases across a broad range of therapeutic areas.

According to their site, “Through working in partnership with everyone from patients to health care providers and managed care organizations to world governments and non-governmental organizations, our goal is to ensure that people everywhere have access to innovative treatments and quality health care.”

2. Roche Holding, Switzerland | Market cap: US$229.65 billion

Founded in 1896 in Basel, Switzerland, Roche creates innovative medicines and diagnostic tests that help millions of patients around the world.

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According to the company, they invest in 9 billion Swiss francs in research and development every year. With over 88,000 people working together across more than 150 countries, Roche is consistently ranked as an employer of choice by its employees.

1. Novartis, Switzerland | Market cap: US$247.36 billion

Novartis is a global healthcare company based in Switzerland that provides solutions to address the evolving needs of patients worldwide.

Created in 1996 through a merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz, Novartis and its predecessor companies trace roots back more than 250 years, with a rich history of developing innovative products. From beginnings in the production of synthetic fabric dyes, the companies that eventually became Novartis branched out into producing chemicals and ultimately pharmaceuticals.

The company’s global pharmaceuticals portfolio includes more than 50 key marketed products, many of which are innovative leaders in their therapeutic areas. In 2014 alone, Novartis received a total of 13 approvals in the United States, Europe and Japan.

More than 119,000 people of 150 nationalities work at Novartis, all driving the mission of caring and curing forward. 

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