The top 10 drugmakers of 2024

Novartis is slated to lead all pharma players in 2024 sales, trailed by Pfizer, Roche and Johnson & Johnson. (Pixabay)

Big Pharma will get bigger, much bigger, over the next several years, with the companies vying to grow their sales in a range of established and emerging therapeutic areas, notably cancer and immunology.

Together, the top 10 drugmakers in 2024—as outlined in a recent report from EvaluatePharma—will hold 35% of the total biopharma market share, or more than $420 billion in sales that year.  

Novartis is slated to lead the pack, trailed by Pfizer, Roche, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi in the top five. Among the top 10 drugmakers, EP predicts AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb will grow their sales the most over the upcoming years, at 7% annually and 6% on average per year, respectively.

Over the next several years, analysts expect the drugmakers to shuffle positions somewhat from last year's sales rankings. AstraZeneca and BMS will each jump two spots, earning positions in the top 10. Novartis, J&J, Sanofi and GSK will each climb one spot, while analysts expect Pfizer to take one step from it's world-leading 2017 prescription sales.

RELATED: The top 15 pharma companies by 2017 revenue 

Taking the biggest step backward in the projections is Merck. Evaluate predicts the company will drop three positions from its 2017 sales ranking to 7th in 2024. The analysts believe the New Jersey drugmaker will haul in $38 billion in sales that year, up from $35.4 billion last year. Merck’s fall in the rankings comes despite the ascent of its star drug Keytruda. Evaluate predicts the drug’s sales will grow 19% annually through 2024, from $3.8 billion in 2017 to $12.7 billion in 2024. The drug will only trail AbbVie’s Humira in 2024 sales, according to the projections. 

Humira, which posted $18.9 billion in sales globally last year, will fall slightly to $15.2 billion in 2024. Before it fades, analysts believe the megablockbuster can reach $21 billion in peak sales. The company has inked a slate of patent settlements with would-be biosim entrants in the U.S. to protect its cash cow for several more years. 

Several top drugmakers are heavily invested in oncology. In all, cancer meds make up half of the top 10 drugs by 2024 sales, according to the analysis. Other drugs topping sales charts for 2024 include Bristol’s anticoagulant Eliquis, Sanofi’s new eczema launch Dupixent, Regeneron and Bayer’s eye med Eylea and J&J’s immunology med Stelara.  

Here are the top drugmakers ranked by projected sales in 2024. Important to note is that Takeda is working to acquire Shire, and the combined company would be big enough to command a position on the top 10 big pharma rankings, according to Evaluate. The analysis excludes generic sales, according to the group. If you have any comments, please get in touch. (email)

The top 10 drugmakers of 2024