Making predictions is always dicey – especially so in this unprecedented global environment. Yet that isn’t stopping EvaluatePharma from predicting Roche will still be the world’s biggest drugmaker 6 years from now.
If that seems a bold forecast – over the years, Roche has moved up and down the list of largest pharmaceutical firms – EvaluatePharma predicts that Bristol-Myers Squibb will drop from 4th this year to 8th in 2026.
Though the firm is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 8.23% — second only to AstraZeneca’s 8.47% — the company’s lock on at least one of its big sellers will expire, lowering its drug revenues. It broke into the top five through its takeover of Celgene at the end of last year..
Other companies, according to the forecast, will move ahead on the list. By virtue of its merger with Allergan, which closed in May, Abbvie is on track to occupy 4th place in 2026. However, the online publication FiercePharma notes that the company’s big selling Humira is vulnerable to biosimilars which could “eat away at billions in revenue.”
These rankings are all based on prescription and over-the-counter drug sales. On a gross revenue basis, Johnson & Johnson tops the list of largest firms with 2019 revenue of $82.1 billion.
Many big pharma companies have other products that add to their total revenue. Johnson & Johnson manufactures skin and hair care, including such well-known brands as Neutrogena and Aveeno, as well as medical devices.
Solely on its drug sales, EvaluatePharma ranks J&J 3rd in 2026.
The forecast predicts Gilead Sciences will struggle to stay in the top 15. The company is forecast to barely grow through 2026. According to the analysis, “The company is famously under pressure to strike deals, but has steadfastly stuck to bolt-ons to date.”
Acknowledging that the “coronavirus pandemic is making the job of forecasting particularly tough right now,” Evaluate concludes by declaring, “it seems clear that Roche will lead the pack in 2026.”