True Mergent

Large Pharmaceutical Companies

Many of the major breakthroughs in the drugs and medications used to treat illness and disease come through the pharmaceutical industry and there are many companies working in this. Some of the best have grown to become global giants that invest in research and development to come up with the latest medications. The following are a few of these.


Sanofi is based in France and has grown to be a leader in the pharma industry through organic development, merger, and acquisition. Some of the companies it took over in recent years include Synthelabo in 1999 and Aventis in 2004. It is best known for the development of prescription drugs, with top selling products they produce including the diabetes drug Lantus Solostar and the multiple sclerosis medication Copaxone.


Novartis ranks as one of the biggest in the pharmaceutical industry when it comes to global sales. It came into being in 1996, when the two Swiss companies Sandoz Labs and Ciba-Ceigy merged, and the company remains headquartered in Switzerland. It produces medicines, as well as consumer health and animal health products, and some of its well known developments include Diovan, Gleevec, and Gilenya.


This British company can trace its history back to the late 19th century although its modern incarnation came about when Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham merged in 2000. They produce drugs and vaccines, with their top selling product being the asthma medication Advair Diskus. Some of their other well known products include another asthma medication Flovent HVA and the cholesterol treatment Lovaza.


This American pharmaceutical company has a history dating back to 1849, when it was founded in New York. In its many years in business it has expanded to become one of the biggest operators in the industry and it has business units in many countries. It has developed a number of drugs and consumer healthcare products, with some of the more notable being Lipitor, ChapStick, and the cough/cold medicine Robitussin.