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Who are the Top-10 Biggest Companies in Global Pharma in 2024?

Pharma on a Global Scale
Top-10 Global Pharma Companies in 2024

In 2023 and moving into 2024, the pharmaceutical landscape witnessed remarkable progress in research, development, and global healthcare contributions. However, two companies stood out from the crowd: Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, reshaping the landscape with their diabetes type 2 drugs and propelling them to the top of the list as the two most valuable pharma companies in terms of market capitalization. Here's a rundown of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies leading the charge in 2024.

2023/2024 turned the Top-10 Global Pharma Companies list upside down led by the "new black" in the industry: Metabolic Disorders.


1.Eli Lilly

In 2023, Eli Lilly, the American pharmaceutical company, emerged as the world's largest pharma firm, boasting a market capitalization of $717.3 billion as of March 2024 and generating revenues of $34.12 billion. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, the company employs approximately 40,000 individuals worldwide. Eli Lilly is renowned for its expertise in Immunology, Endocrine, Neurodegeneration, Neuroscience - Migraine and Headache Disorders, and Oncology, with a particular focus on diabetes medication. In 2023, Eli Lilly launched two groundbreaking drugs: Zepbound and Mounjaro. Both of these medications are based on the compound tirzepatide. However, they are marketed for different purposes. Mounjaro is specifically targeted as a treatment for type 2 diabetes while Zepbound is positioned as a solution for weight loss. Sales of Eli Lilly's diabetes drug Mounjaro surpassed $5 billion in 2023, its inaugural full year on the market, while Zepbound generated $175.8 million in revenue in Q4 of 2023.


2. Novo Nordisk

With a commanding market capitalization totaling $591 billion as of March 2024 and a revenue stream reaching approximately $33.9 billion in 2023, Novo Nordisk secures its place as the second-largest pharmaceutical entity of the year. Headquartered in Bagsværd, the company boasts a workforce of over 41,600 employees spread across the globe. Novo Nordisk's primary therapeutic focus revolves around diabetes care medication and devices. It's no secret that 2023 proved to be an exceptional year for Novo Nordisk. Their flagship diabetes drug, Ozempic, alongside their weight management solution, Wegovy, propelled the company to achieve a staggering total revenue of over $18.4 billion for the year.


3. Johnson & Johnson

Ranked as the third-largest pharmaceutical company, the American multinational Johnson & Johnson achieved a remarkable revenue of $85.159 billion in 2023, contributing to an impressive total market capitalization of $381 billion as of March 2024. Johnson & Johnson's main therapeutic areas include over-the-counter drugs, orthopedic implants, surgical products, and household items. Renowned for their iconic consumer brands such as Band-Aids, Tylenol, and baby powder, Johnson & Johnson holds a significant presence in households worldwide. In 2023, their immunosuppressive drug, Stelara, designed to combat psoriasis and certain gastrointestinal conditions, emerged as their highest revenue-generating pharmaceutical, raking in a remarkable $11 billion in revenue.


4. Merck

With its global workforce of 72,000 dedicated employees, the American pharmaceutical giant Merck achieved a remarkable revenue of $60.12 billion in 2023. While headquartered in Rahway, New Jersey, Merck operates as a truly global entity, delivering innovative health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and animal health products. At the core of Merck's success stands their top-selling cancer treatment drug, Keytruda, which grossed an impressive $25 billion in sales in 2023. Keytruda emerged as the best-selling drug overall for the year. In January 2024, Merck made headlines by announcing its acquisition of Harpoon Therapeutics, a move poised to expand their portfolio of oncological drugs and reinforce their position as a key player in the pharmaceutical industry. The company boasts a market capitalization of $307 billion as of March 2024.


5. AbbVie

Based in North Chicago, Illinois, AbbVie stands as a leading American pharmaceutical company with a global workforce exceeding 50,000 employees. In 2023, the company recorded a robust revenue of $54.32 billion, solidifying its position as one of the top-10 pharma companies with a total market capitalization of $314 billion as of March 2024. AbbVie's primary therapeutic focus encompasses oncology, immunology, neuroscience, eye care, and other areas of unmet medical need. Renowned for its pioneering work in immunological research, AbbVie boasts over 20 years of experience in the field of biologic medicine. At the forefront of AbbVie's success lies its blockbuster drug, Humira (primarily used for rheumatic diseases), which generated a staggering $14 billion in revenue in 2023.


6. Roche

Based in Basel, Switzerland, F. Hoffmann-la Roche, commonly known as Roche, stands as a Swiss multinational healthcare firm operating worldwide across two primary divisions: Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics. In 2023, Roche boasted a robust revenue of $76.16 billion, affirming its position as a top-10 pharma company with a total market capitalization of $257.74 billion. With a workforce of approximately 104,000 employees worldwide, Roche remains a formidable presence in the healthcare industry. Roche's top therapeutic areas by revenue include oncology, neuroscience, and immunology. Renowned for their pioneering work in developing drugs for cancer treatment, combating viral diseases, and addressing metabolic disorders, Roche continues to lead the charge in advancing medical science. Their drug Herceptin, a groundbreaking drug used in the treatment of certain types of breast cancer, emerged as one of the top revenue-generating drug in 2023, generating approximately $1.82 billion.


7. AstraZeneca

With a total market capitalization of $206 billion and a revenue of $45.8 billion in 2023, the British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca secures its place among the top-10 pharma companies of the year. Headquartered in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca boasted a workforce exceeding 89,000 employees worldwide in 2023. AstraZeneca's primary focus in research and development encompasses oncology, rare diseases, and biopharmaceutical intervention. In 2023, the company's top-selling drug, Farxiga, emerged as a pivotal player. Farxiga, utilized in the treatment of type two diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, and heart failure, recorded sales of $5.96 billion.


8. Novartis

The Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, boasts a workforce of over 76,000 employees worldwide. With main therapeutic areas spanning cardiovascular, renal and metabolic, immunology, neuroscience, and oncology, Novartis's medications positively impact the lives of over 250 million individuals globally.

In 2023, Novartis's top-selling pharmaceutical was their cardiovascular drug Entresto, which garnered a total revenue of approximately $6 billion. Overall, Novartis achieved a revenue of $45.44 billion for 2023, positioning the company with a market capitalization of $198 billion as of March 2024.


9. Pfizer

Pfizer Inc., an esteemed American pharmaceutical giant headquartered in New York, stands as a beacon of innovation with a workforce of approximately 88,000 employees worldwide. Pfizer has made significant strides in developing impactful medicines and vaccines, ranging from their best-selling over-the-counter pain reliever to medications for anxiety and panic disorder management, and notably, the COVID-19 vaccine. Their therapeutic specialities encompass oncology, inflammation, immunology, vaccines, rare diseases, internal medicine, and anti-infectives, reflecting Pfizer's commitment to addressing a wide array of medical needs. In 2023, their drug Lipitor emerged as their top-selling drug, offering effective solutions to lower bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular issues. In total, Pfizer reported a revenue of $58.5 billion in 2023, and a current market capitalization of $158 billion as of March 2024.


10. Amgen

Amgen, the American pharmaceutical company headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California, boasts a global workforce exceeding 26,700 employees. With a strategic focus on six therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular disease, oncology, bone health, neuroscience, nephrology, and inflammation, Amgen remains committed to addressing a wide spectrum of medical needs. In 2023, Amgen achieved notable success with its top-selling drug, Prolia, which generated $4.05 billion in revenue. Prolia is known for its ability to halt the progression of bone-removing cells before they inflict damage on bones.

Amgen reported a total revenue of $28.19 billion in 2023, and as of today, Amgen's market capitalization stands at $144 billion as of March 2024.



The pharmaceutical landscape is undergoing a noticeable shift towards the dominance of medications targeting obesity and type 2 diabetes, reflecting the high demand for these treatments as evidenced by remarkable sales figures in 2023. Eli Lilly's introduction of Zepbound and Mounjaro, which collectively generated significant revenue, highlights the growing market for diabetes and weight loss solutions, with Zepbound's revenue of $175.8 million in Q4 of 2023 signaling its potential to become a top-selling drug in the future.


Similarly, Novo Nordisk's performance in 2023 underscores the rising importance of diabetes care medication. With Ozempic and Wegovy alone generating over $18.4 billion in revenue, Novo Nordisk solidified its position as a major player in the pharmaceutical industry. Notably, Wegovy and Eli Lilly's Mounjaro (tirzepatide) also gained significant traction, further intensifying the spotlight on metabolic disorder treatments with tirzepatide receiving FDA approval for obesity treatment and semaglutide obtaining an expanded label for cardiovascular risk reduction.


So, 2024 offered a major upset in the standings of the top-10 pharma companies in the world as Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk went from not-on-the-top-10-list to the number 1 and 2 company in terms of market capitalization.



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Lu, M. (2024, January 26). The world’s 50 largest pharmaceutical companies. Visual Capitalist.


Buntz, B. (2024, March 14). Best-selling pharmaceuticals of 2023 reveal a shift in pharma landscape. Drug Discovery and Development.

A/S, D. L. I. (n.d.). – viden redder liv. 2024, Dansk Lægemiddel Information a/S.




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