3. Pfizer

Pfizer sign
Pfizer revenues in 2017 slipped slightly compared to 2016. (Tracy Staton/FiercePharma)

Pfizer
2017 revenue: $52.55 billion
2016 revenue: $52.82 billion
Headquarters: New York, New York

Pfizer’s revenues may have dipped slightly between 2016 and 2017, but the way its CFO sees things, the performance was still impressive.

When factoring out the impact of acquisitions and divestitures the company wrapped in 2016 and 2017—and being Pfizer, there were many, including the 2016 buys of Anacor and Medivation—the New York pharma giant recorded 1% operational revenue growth last year. And it did that despite taking a $2.1 billion hit from generic competitors, financial chief Frank D’Amelio said in a statement accompanying Pfizer’s full-year earnings release.

Several of its top-10 products made gains, including Ibrance, which vaulted to $3.13 billion in 2017 sales from $2.14 billion in 2016. Xeljanz, which didn’t even make the cut on the top-10 list last year, wound up in the No. 7 slot after passing the blockbuster mark with $1.35 billion. Eliquis, the next-gen anticoagulant Pfizer shares with Bristol-Myers Squibb, continued to steamroll, with Pfizer’s share of alliance revenues climbing to $2.52 billion from $1.71 billion. And No. 2 product Lyrica trended upward, too, raking in $5.07 billion after last year’s $4.97 billion showing.

On the flip side, top product and best-selling vaccine Prevnar 13’s sales slowed from the year prior; a highly successful 2015, in which the drug penetrated a large portion of the over-65 market, has made subsequent years look slow in comparison. It generated $5.60 billion in 2017, down from $5.72 billion in 2016.

Enbrel, which Pfizer markets outside the U.S. and Canada, dropped to $2.45 billion from $2.91 million after Novartis’ Sandoz launched its EU copy, Erelzi. And knockoffs helped take Viagra, which lost U.S. patent protection last December, down to $1.20 billion from $1.56 billion.

RELATED: Top 10 U.S. patent losses of 2017 - Viagra

Overall, Pfizer’s innovative health division put up $31.4 billion of its total revenue, with its essential health unit kicking in $21.1 billion. The company, though, expects at least one of those figures to rise this year; it’s guided to between $53.5 billion and $55.5 billion in 2018 revenue.

The 10 new FDA approvals Pfizer won in 2017 will be helping it on that front. Among them: the first nods for Bavencio, a member of the PD-1/PD-L1 class of cancer-fighters that Pfizer shares with Merck KGaA; a new drug approval for Steglatro, the fourth-to-market SGLT2 diabetes drug Pfizer partnered on with Merck; a green light for a longer-acting version of Lyrica that’ll help ease forthcoming generics pain; and a line extension for Xeljanz, which is now cleared to compete in the red-hot psoriatic arthritis market.

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3. Pfizer