US pharmaceutical major Pfizer reinforced its position as the world's largest drug company in 2002 after putting in sales of $29.45 billion (€25.12 bn) in 2002, a hike of 11 per cent over the prior year, according to a new analysis by IMS Health. And the firm will likely extend its lead in 2003, now that it has completed its $60-billion acquisition of Pharmacia, in tenth place in the rankings with sales of $12.26 billion (+8 per cent).
Europe's largest drugmaker, GlaxoSmithKline, came second in the league table with sales of $27.88 billion, but lagged in terms of growth with a 7 per cent hike over 2001. Merck & Co, for many years the number one company but which has slipped down the rankings after eschewing the merger-mania of the 1990s, came in third with sales of $19.97 billion, up 6 per cent.
In terms of revenue growth, fourth-placed Johnson & Johnson led the group, with sales up 15 per cent to $18.55 billion. AstraZeneca's $18.12 billion turnover (+9 per cent) gave it the fifth spot, followed by Novartis ($16.6 billion; +13 per cent) and Aventis ($14.30 billion; +11 per cent).