The most (and least) efficient Big Pharma companies

Which Big Pharma companies are most efficient? We've examined the top 10 pharma companies and, with employment data provided by Hoover's, determined which get the most for their money. Our ranking is based on Revenue Per Employee--a ratio useful when comparing a company with others in its industry.

Switzerland's Roche takes the top spot, with each of its 67,695 employees delivering an average of $700,000 in revenue. Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly round out the top three. The least efficient?  Sanofi-Aventis and Merck, which make $400,410 and $274,280, respectively, per employee.

But with layoffs planned at some companies, and underway at others, this ranking could change substantially over the coming months. Merck, which is absorbing Schering-Plough after their merger last year, has said it will cut more than 16,000 jobs from the combined payroll. Pfizer plans to cut almost 20,000 as it integrates Wyeth. Roche recently announced an efficiency drive--expected to include job cuts--and Bristol-Myers said last week it would shave its workforce by 3 percent. Will the cuts really make them more efficient? Check next year's list to see.


2009 Revenue2009 EmployeesRPE
Roche $47.35B 67,695 $699,460
Bristol-Myers Squibb $18.80B 28,000 $671,770
Eli Lilly $21.83B 40,360 $541,030
Johnson & Johnson $61.89B 115,500 $535,900
AstraZeneca $32.80B 63,000 $520,700
GlaxoSmithKline $45.83B 99,913 $458,700
Novartis $44.26B 99,834 $443,410
Pfizer $50.00B 116,500 $429,260
Abbott Labs $30.76B 73,000 $421,360
Bayer* $22.30B 53,421 $417,438
Sanofi-Aventis $41.99B 104,867 $400,410
Merck $27.42B 100,000 $274,280

Tracy Staton and Erica Teichert also contributed to this report.

*Correction: The original version of this article included Bayer's Materials and Crop Protection divisions, which did not contribute to the company's $22.3 billion in 2009 revenues. The ranking has been adjusted to correct for the error.