2024 Will Be a Good Year for the Pharma Industry: The Kiplinger Letter

Five pharma companies will have sales that exceed $50 billion this year.

A bottle of pills, a bag with prescriptions sit on the counter of a pharmacy
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At the very least, 2024 will be better than 2023 for the pharma industry. Swiss pharma giant Roche will score the most sales ($55 billion) of any drugmaker next year on the strength of its biologics portfolio, including Ocrevus, a treatment for MS, as well as anti-cancer agent Tecentriq and hemophilia drug Hemlibra.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Merck, AbbVie (ABBV) and Pfizer will exceed $50 billion in sales, too. But Pfizer, the world’s top-selling drugmaker last year, will fall to fifth place due to declining sales for its pandemic-related treatments. 

Another notable change: Novo Nordisk will enter the top 10, supplanting GSK (formerly GlaxoSmithKline). Novo Nordisk will boast the two biggest generators of new drug sales, which are both weight loss-related: Wegovy ($4 billion in new sales) and Ozempic ($3 billion).

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Combined, total sales of the drugs, which both employ the same active ingredient, Semaglutide, will rival those of Keytruda, the world’s best-selling pharmaceutical. Keytruda, a cancer immunotherapy drug manufactured and marketed by Merck, will generate over $25 billion this year. 

Beyond Keytruda, Wegovy and Ozempic, other top sellers include Sanofi and Regeneron’s Dupixent, which is used to treat allergic diseases like eczema, asthma and nasal polyps, Eliquis, the Pfizer and Bristol Myers Squibb drug used to prevent blood clots, and Gilead’s Biktarvy, a fixed-dose combination medication for the treatment of HIV and AIDS.

This forecast first appeared in The Kiplinger Letter, which has been running since 1923 and is a collection of concise weekly forecasts on business and economic trends, as well as what to expect from Washington, to help you understand what’s coming up to make the most of your investments and your money. Subscribe to The Kiplinger Letter.

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Matthew Housiaux
Reporter, The Kiplinger Letter
Housiaux covers the White House and state and local government for The Kiplinger Letter. Before joining Kiplinger in June 2016, he lived in Sioux Falls, SD, where he was the forum editor of Augustana University's student newspaper, the Mirror. He also contributed stories to the Borgen Project, a Seattle-based nonprofit focused on raising awareness of global poverty. He earned a B.A. in history and journalism from Augustana University.