Pfizer Inc. (PFE) is a leading global biopharmaceutical company based in New York. The company makes money by developing and manufacturing drug treatments to promote health and prevent disease. Its single operating segment spans a range of therapeutic areas, including oncology, internal medicine, hospital, vaccines, inflammation and immunology, and rare diseases. In FY 2022, Pfizer generated $31.37 billion in net income out of $100.33 billion in annual revenue. The company's market capitalization was $227 billion as of market close on March 24, 2023.
Pfizer's best-selling drugs in FY 2022 were: Comirnaty, an immunization designed to prevent COVID-19 in people 12 or older, which generated $37.8 billion in revenue; Paxlovid, an antivirus that targets specific parts of the COVID-19 virus to keep it from multiplying in the body of people who are more at risk of getting very sick, which brought in $18.9 billion; and Eliquis, used to treat nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism, and which generated $6.5 billion.
Several other large, global drug manufacturers present Pfizer with significant competition. They include Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Roche Holding AG (RHHBY), Eli Lilly and Co. (LLY), AbbVie Inc. (ABBV), Novo Nordisk (NVO), and Merck & Co. (MRK). We take a closer look at these six pharmaceutical industry giants below. They are ranked by market cap as of the close of trading on March 24, 2023. Roche Holdings' and Novo Nordisk's revenue for specific drugs were converted from Swiss francs and Danish kroner to U.S. dollars on March 25, 2023.
- Pfizer is one of the leading companies in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.
- Pfizer's top-selling drugs in FY 2022 were Paxlovid and Eliquis.
- Pfizer's main competitors are Johnson & Johnson, Novo Nordisk A/S, Roche Holding AG, Eli Lilly and Co., AbbVie Inc., and Merck & Co.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
- Market Cap: $397.5 billion
- FY 2022 Revenue: $95 billion
- FY 2022 Net Income: $17.9 billion
- Top Drug by Revenue (FY 2022): Darzalex
- Revenue from Top Drug (FY 2022): $7.9 billion
Johnson & Johnson is well known for its various consumer health products, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. Its sales results for 2022 were $52.6 billion in pharmaceuticals, $27.4 billion in medical devices, and $14.9 billion in health care products.
Novo Nordisk A/S (NVO)
- Market Cap: $343.2 billion
- FY 2022 Revenue: $43.5 billion
- FY 2022 Net Income: $16.9 billion
- Top Drug by Revenue (FY 2022): Ozempic
- Revenue from Top Drug (FY 2022): $5.7 billion
Novo Nordisk is a Norwegian pharmaceutical manufacturer that focuses on treating diabetes, obesity, and other serious chronic diseases and conditions.
Novo Nordisk's top-selling drug in 2022 was Ozempic, an insulin therapy delivered by injection. Other top sellers for 2022 were Victoza (injection) and Rybelus, a pill that increases insulin levels in the body to reduce liver sugar production, with combined sales values of $24 billion.
Eli Lilly and Co. (LLY)
- Market Cap: $319.45 billion
- FY 2022 Revenue: $28.5 billion
- FY 2022 Net Income: $6.2 billion
- Top Drug by Revenue (FY 2022): Trulicity
- Revenue from Top Drug (FY 2022): $5.7 billion
Eli Lilly is a global drug manufacturing company headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. Its business focuses on discovering, developing, manufacturing, and marketing human pharmaceutical products. Those products span different therapeutic areas, including diabetes, oncology, immunology, neuroscience, and more.
Eli Lilly's top-selling drug in FY 2022 was Trulicity, used to treat type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of significant adverse cardiovascular events. Other top-selling medicines in FY 2022 include:
- Breast cancer treatment drug Verzenio, which generated $1.7 billion
- Taltz, a treatment for plaque psoriasis, which brought in $1.7 billion
- Jardiance, a treatment for type 2 diabetes, which generated $1.2 billion in revenues
AbbVie Inc. (ABBV)
- Market Cap: $279.6 billion
- FY 2022 Revenue: $58.1 billion
- FY 2022 Net Income: $11.8 billion
- Top Drug by Revenue (FY 2022): Humira
- Revenue from Top Drug (FY 2022): $18.6 billion
AbbVie is a global biopharmaceutical company based in Chicago. The company's single business segment is engaged in research and development, manufacturing, commercializing, and selling innovative medicines and therapies. Its products span a range of healthcare-related areas, including immunology, oncology, aesthetics, neuroscience, eye care, women's health, and more.
AbbVie's top-selling drug in FY 2022 was Humira, a biologic therapy used to treat several autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, adult Crohn's disease, and others. Other top-selling drugs in FY 2022 include: immunologic drugs Skyrizi, which brought in $4.4 billion in revenue, and Rinvoq, which generated $1.8 billion.
Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK)
- Market Cap: $266 billion
- FY 2022 Revenue: $59.3 billion
- FY 2022 Net Income: $16.4 billion
- Top Drug by Revenue (FY 2022): Keytruda
- Revenue from Top Drug (FY 2022): $20.9 billion
Merck is a global healthcare company based in Kenilworth, New Jersey. The company offers prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and animal health products. Its two operating segments are pharmaceutical and animal health. It offers a variety of treatments across a wide range of areas, including oncology, vaccines, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, diabetes, women's health, livestock products, and companion animal products.
Merck's top-selling drug in FY 2022 was Keytruda, which is used to treat patients with a range of different types of cancer, such as cervical cancer, classical Hodgkin Lymphoma, certain lung cancers, and numerous others.
Other top-selling drugs in FY 2022 include: COVID-19 anti-viral drug Lagevria, which brought in $5.7 billion of revenue; and Human Papillomavirus vaccines Gardasil/Gardasil 9, which generated $6.9 billion in revenue.
Roche Holding AG (RHHBY)
- Market Cap: $227.5 billion
- FY 2022 Revenue: $66.3 billion
- FY 2022 Net Income: $14.7 billion
- Top Drug by Revenue (FY 2022): Ocrevus
- Revenue from Top Drug (FY 2022): $6.6 billion
Roche Holding AG is the holding company for F. Hoffman-La Roche AG (the pharmaceutical company known as Roche), a global healthcare company headquartered in Basel, Switzerland. Its business is organized into two main divisions: pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. The company develops drugs and treatments across various areas, including oncology, neuroscience, infectious diseases, immunology, cardiovascular and metabolism, ophthalmology, and respiratory.
Roche's top-selling drug in FY 2022 was Ocrevus, used to treat multiple sclerosis. Oncology drug Perjeta generated $4.4 billion, and hemophilia treatment Hemlibra brought in $4.2 billion.
Who Is Pfizer's Largest Competitor?
Johnson & Johnson is Pfizer's largest competitor. It might not generate as much revenue from its pharmaceuticals, but its market cap and total revenue make it a rival.
How Is Pfizer Different From Other Companies?
Pfizer is behind many pharmaceutical innovations that are copied or mimicked in generics. Pfizer continues to monitor their generics and assume responsibility for them even after the patent expires.
What Is Pfizer's Competitive Advantage?
Pfizer's intellectual propery and continuous medicine development are its competitive advantages.
The Bottom Line
Pfizer began manufacturing chemicals in 1849, eventually pivoting to pharmaceutical research in the 1950s. Since then, it has become one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, with only a few companies acting as rivals.
Pfizer has 19 active pharmaceutical patents that generate more than $100 billion in revenue; it has 110 more products i(as of Jan. 31, 2023) in its development pipeline, waiting to contribute to its continuing success.