Companies in this industry manufacture and process pharmaceutical products. Major companies include Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co, and Pfizer (all based in the US), as well as AstraZeneca (UK), Bayer (Germany), GlaxoSmithKline (UK), Novartis (Switzerland), Roche Holding (Switzerland), and Sanofi (France).
Pharmaceutical manufacturers compete to discover and commercialize ever-more effective medicines. Companies focus on the most profitable markets, where demand for treatment is high. Key areas of development include cardiovascular, cancer, and diabetes medications, as increases in the number of elderly and obese patients fuel disease growth in these categories. Companies may also focus on rare disease categories, where available treatments are limited or nonexistent and opportunities exist for expedited approvals and profitable pricing.
Products, Operations & Technology
Traditional chemical pharmaceuticals (branded and generic) account for about 75% of industry revenue; biological (cell-based) drugs account for about 15%. Other products include in-vitro diagnostic substances, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), and nutritional supplements.