10. Eli Lilly

Eli Lilly
Eli Lilly grew sales slightly to more than $24 billion last year. (Eli Lilly)

Eli Lilly 
2018 revenue: $24.56 billion 
2017 revenue: $22.87 billion 
Headquarters: Indianapolis, Indiana 

Eli Lilly has battled some big patent losses in recent years, but despite that pressure and tough pricing dynamics in diabetes, the company turned in 7% sales growth last year. And in a trend that bodes well for the future, that growth was fueled mostly by new launches, as some of Lilly's older drugs either hold their own or post sales declines.

Lilly's newest launch is Emgality, one in a new class of migraine drugs that was approved in 2018. Lilly will have to put its marketing muscle to work to support the CGRP drug, thanks to a three-way market share race against offerings from Amgen and Teva. Lilly’s drug was the last to reach the market, but executives say it carries advantages that’ll help it against the competition. 

RELATED: Lilly CEO David Ricks snags $17.2M pay package for 2018, a 9% hike 

In 2018, the drugmaker generated $24.56 billion in revenues, up 7% from 2017’s $22.87 billion. In its established brands category, Humalog, the company’s big-selling insulin, grew sales 5% to nearly $3 billion despite pricing pressure. Chemo drug Alimta posted a modest sales increase to $2.13 billion.  

But sales for ED drug Cialis, which is fighting against cheap generics, slipped 20% last year. Forteo is also struggling, as its sales slipped 10%. And aside from Cialis, Lilly has also been hit with recent patent expirations for ADHD drug Strattera and blood thinner Effient. 

RELATED: Eli Lilly grabs spotlight at J.P. Morgan with $8B Loxo Oncology buyout 

Several launches since 2014 are chipping in good sales growth, on the other hand. GLP-1 diabetes drug Trulicity posted a 58% increase to become the company’s top product by sales at $3.2 billion last year. And in a quick uphill climb, immunology drug Taltz is nearing blockbuster territory with 2018 sales of $937 million after its 2016 approval. That's despite lower net prices last year for Trulicity and Taltz, plus biosimilar insulin Basaglar and bone drug Forteo.

New cancer therapy Verzenio and another immunology launch, Olumiant, are starting to record meaningful sales as well, each reaching more than $200 million in 2018. Lilly will have a deeper pipeline in cancer going forward, too, thanks to its $8 billion Loxo Oncology buyout, inked early this year. 

10. Eli Lilly