The 6 biggest pharmaceutical companies across the United States

By maria collazo

The biopharmaceutical sector is one of the most research and development (R&D)-intensive in the United States, with companies investing more than 10 times the amount of R&D per employee than all manufacturing industries overall, according to SelectUSA.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA) also states that American pharmaceutical firms conduct the majority of the world’s research and development in pharma and hold the intellectual property rights on most new medicines.

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That being said, our sister publication Healthcare Global recently profiled the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies based on last month’s market capitalization numbers. Six of the ten were based in the U.S.

Here they are:

Abbott Laboratories | Chicago, Illinois

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.

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

Eli Lilly & Co. | Indianapolis, Indiana

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.

AbbVie Inc. | North Chicago, Illinois  

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.

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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.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. | New York City, New York

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.

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.

Merck & Co. | Kenilworth, New Jersey

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.

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

Pfizer | New York City, New York

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.”

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