J&J, Pfizer, Merck sit atop Fortune's 500 for pharma

Dive Brief:

  • Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Merck & Co. are bringing in the biggest bucks across the pharma industry, yet they still tout just a fraction of the revenues large drug wholesalers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are fetching.
  • The dynamic was made apparent by the newest installment of the Fortune 500 list, which identifies companies that have raked in the most money over the course of the last year. For the 2017 list, Johnson & Johnson placed 35th overall, leading drugmakers with its $71.9 billion in revenues. Pfizer came in at 54 with $52.8 billion and Merck finished at 69 with $39.8 billion.
  • That income pales in comparison, however, to other healthcare providers and distributors. McKesson — part of the second group — raked 5th among all companies on the list with its $192 billion in revenues. UnitedHealth, CVS Health and Express Scripts also clocked in in the top 25 overall companies based on revenue.

Dive Insight:

The 2017 Fortune 500 list wasn't much different than last year's compilation, at least for pharmaceutical developers. There were no newcomers, and generally only small shifts in placement.

Celgene demonstrated the biggest jump, up 51 slots to 254th. The big biotech had $11.2 billion in revenue, according to the list. Bristol-Myers Squibb, which placed 147th, and Biogen, which placed 248th, also had noteworthy leaps, rising 21 spots and 15 spots, respectively.

While the main list is ranked by revenues, Fortune also did a separate ranking by profit. Typical with drugmakers, there was a big difference between total revenues and profits. On the latter front, many pharmas did better in their rankings; across the 500 companies, Johnson & Johnson finished ninth, Gilead Sciences 13th and Amgen 30th. Correspondingly, they had $16.5 billion, $13.5 billion and $7.7 billion in profits.

Also making the main Fortune 500 list this year were drugmakers AbbVie (111), Eli Lilly (132), Abbott Laboratories (135), and Baxter International (281). What's more, Fortune documented the top 1000 companies by revenue. In that extended section, Regeneron locked down the 523rd spot while Alexion came in at 714th.

In order to make the list, companies must be incorporated and do business in the U.S., and must submit financial disclosures to government agencies. Fortune additionally creates an annual Global 500 list that includes companies incorporated and operating outside the U.S.

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Filed Under: Corporate News