Rich pharmaceuticals

Drugs equal moneyThe 2008 edition of the Fortune 500 shows that the US’ biggest companies are still generating lots of weatlh for the shareholders, their employees and in some cases, their communities.

The “revenue” and “profit” numbers accompanying each of the Fortune 500 listees tell a story bean counters love because in their view, numbers alone make or break companies, business models and entire industries. Of course, each company being presented in this prestigious list has its own story, way beyond the numbers that are often overly glorified as being the ultimate “scorecard” for companies.

For instance, some companies made less profit but invested more in their employees’ pension funds while others, with larger profits, have closed down factories in their home country, putting (decently paid) hard working individuals out of work, to finance the opening a sweatshop-factory in a some foreign country where salaries are a joke and the military run the show.

So even though we’re going to take a look at the numbers from pharmaceutical companies, keep in mind that each one of them has a story that you may want to look up, in order to better understand “the big picture”.

The title states that the pharmaceuticals are rich and that’s a known fact — let’s look at the numbers:

REVENUES PROFITS
Rank Company Global 500 rank $ millions % change from 2006 $ millions % change from 2006
1 Johnson & Johnson 107 61,095 15 10,576 -4
2 Pfizer 143 48,418 -8 8,144 -58
3 GlaxoSmithKline 151 45,447 6 10,432 5
4 Roche Group 175 40,315 16 8,135 29
5 Sanofi-Aventis 178 39,977 8 7,204 43
6 Novartis 181 39,800 8 11,946 67
7 AstraZeneca 265 29,559 12 5,595 -7
8 Abbott Laboratories 312 25,914 15 3,606 110
9 Merck 332 24,198 7 3,275 -26
10 Wyeth 381 22,400 10 4,616 10
11 Bristol-Myers Squibb 427 19,977 12 2,165 37
12 Eli Lilly 453 18,634 19 2,953 11

Lots of white pills

As you can see, the profits generated by these pharmaceutical companies is nothing short of astronomical and with the help of the FDA, making it easier than ever to patent and market drugs of all sorts, the money making “drug machine” seems set for many more “good years”.

Are you under the impression that these pharmaceutical companies are making too much profit, selling drugs that have, for the most part, been developed with public funding in university labs?

Everyone has an opinion about the rich pharmaceuticals but the one thing that everybody agrees on is that they generate more profit than you and me ever will… unless we decide to launch a successful pharmaceutical company of our own.

Tags: pharmaceuticals, us pharma, big pharma, american pharma, fortune 500, pharma industry, pills, drugs, chemicals, health, disease, illnesses, insured health, health cost, health debt, health profit, health revenue, hospitals, sick citizens, sick population, usa, money

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