Top 10 pharmaceuticals in Europe 

With reference to Forbes Global 2000, Business Chief takes a look at the top 10 producers of pharmaceutical products in Europe. 


10. UCB (Belgium) 

UCB has been around since 1928, and is a key producer of pharmaceuticals in Belgium. With a market cap value of US$14.9bn, UCB is a giant in the market with over 7,000 employees. It specialises in medicinal products for central nervous and immunology disorders under the Cimzia, Xyzal, Zyrtec, Tussionex, Lortab, Vimpat, Keppra, and Neupro.

CEO: Jean-Christophe Tellier

HQ: Brussels, Belgium 


9. Mylan (United Kingdom)

Mylan is a UK pharmaceutical company that specialises in two divisions of product: general and speciality. The latter of these two divisions conducts business in the U.S. and Canada; Europe; and India, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Brazil. Originally founded in 1961, today the company has over 15,000 employees, with a market cap of US$13.8bn. 

CEO: Heather M. Bresch

HQ: Hatfield, UK


8. Allergan (Ireland)

Allergan is renowned for the following brands: BOTOX, Juvederm, Linzess, Namenda, Restasis, Latisse, Teflaro, Lo Loestrin Fe, Bystolic, DORYX, Saphris, Fetzima, Namenda XR, Namzaric, Viberzi, Viibryd, Alphagan, LUMIGAN, ESTRACE Cream, Rapaflo, Asacol, DELZICOL, Zenpep, Avycaz, and Dalvance. Founded in 1984, the company currently has 16,900 employees. 

CEO: Brenton L. Saunders

HQ: Dublin, Ireland


7. Merck (Germany)

EMD Group operates as Merck KGaA in Europe, manufacturing chemicals products and pharmaceuticals across three areas: healthcare, performance materials and life science. Merck was founded by Friedrich Jacob Merck in 1668. It has over 51,713 employees and ranked in Forbes Best Employers for Diversity in 2020. 

CEO: Stefan Oschmann

HQ: Darmstadt, Germany


6. Novo Nordisk (Denmark)

Founded in 1923 by August Krogh, Marie Krogh, Hans Christian Hagedorn, August Kongsted, Harald Pedersen, and Thorvald Pedersen, Novo Nordisk is the largest pharmaceutical company in Denmark. With over 43,202 employees, it is responsible for the research, development, manufacture, and marketing of pharmaceutical products, with specialities in Diabetes and Obesity Care and Biopharmaceuticals.

CEO: Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen

HQ: Bagsværd, Denmark


5. AstraZeneca (United Kingdom)

AstraZeneca is an international research-based biopharmaceutical company that specialises in research and development of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. It sells products under brands: Atacand, Crestor, Onglyza, Nexium, Entocort, Losec, Merrem/Meronem, Carbocaine, Citanest, Diprivan, Marcaine/Sensorcaine. Founded in 1999, today it has 13,000 employees. 

CEO: Pascal Soriot

HQ: Cambridge, UK


4.  GlaxoSmithKline (United Kingdom)

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is a 98,462-strong pharmaceutical company that specialises in vaccines and prescription medicines. It’s portfolio inccludes vaccines for: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, invasive disease caused by H, influenza, chickenpox, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, rotavirus, cervical cancer, streptococcus pneumonia.

GSK has swept up a number of awards in the last 12 months, ranking in the following lists: Canada's Best Employers 2020, Best Employers for Diversity 2020, Top Regarded Companies 2019, and Best Employers for Women 2019. 

CEO: Emma Walmsley

HQ: Brentford, UK


3. Sanofi (France)


Sanofi is a French pharmaceutical company founded in 1994. With a market cap of US$102bn, the company has a whopping staff count of 104,226, responsible for the research, production and distribution of its products. It specialises in three key areas: Pharmaceuticals, Human Vaccines, and Animal Health.

Last year it ranked in the following Forbes lists: World's Best Employers 2019, Top Regarded Companies 2019, Best Employers for New Grads 2019, Best Employers for Women 2019, America's Best Employers By State 2019, and America's Best Employers 2019.

CEO: Olivier Brandicourt MD

HQ: Paris, France 


2. Roche Holding (Switzerland)

Roche Holding is a healthcare research company, operating through diagnostics and pharmaceuticals sectors. It was first founded in 1896 by Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche, to which the company attributes its name. So far in 2020, it has ranked in Forbes’ Best Employers for Diversity 2020 list. 

CEO: Severin Schwan

HQ: Basel, Switzerland


1. Novartis (Switzerland)

Novartis develops, manufactures, and markets a range of healthcare products across Pharmaceuticals, Alcon, Sandoz, Vaccines & Diagnostics, and Consumer Health. Founded in 1996, the company has over 125,161 employees, and a market cap of US$175.6bn. Novartis ranked as one of the Best Employers for Diversity in 2020.

CEO: Vasant Narasimhan

HQ: Basel, Switzerland

For more information on all business in Europe, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief Europe.

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