The production of pharmaceuticals in Germany can look back on a centuries-old tradition. In the past, the production of medicines took place mainly in pharmacies, and some of these pharmacies have developed into renowned pharmaceutical companies with a global reputation. The pharmaceutical business is strongly influenced by imports and exports. In addition to a few large players, the pharmaceutical industry in Germany has a distinctly medium-sized structure. This article is based on the unique Top 600 Chemical Companies Germany – List of the largest chemical companies.
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- Including: sales (since 2015), number of employees, e-mail, address, telephone number, management, etc
- Detailed information on industry (specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, paints and coatings, construction chemicals, etc.)
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- Last update: 07.08.2020
The German pharmaceutical market is considered the largest pharmaceutical market in Europe, generating over €47 billion in revenue in 2019. Pharmaceuticals worth 82.8 billion euros were exported and imported for 58 billion euros. The main suppliers for the German market are companies from Switzerland, the US and the Netherlands. The German pharmaceutical industry generated around 53 billion euros in sales in 2019. The largest pharmaceutical regions in the country are Hesse and Baden-Württemberg.
In total, there are about 580 pharmaceutical companies in Germany, and 92 percent are small and medium-sized companies with a combined workforce of about 131,000. They have joined forces in the Federal Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry. The approximately four dozen larger pharmaceutical companies are represented by the Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies. They employ a total of 76,000 people and operate worldwide, often with their own subsidiaries abroad.
In an international comparison, however, the pharmaceutical companies from Germany are not among the largest. There is no German name among the top 10 companies worldwide with the highest turnover. The largest pharmaceutical company in this country is Bayer AG (2019: 18.6 billion euros in pharmaceutical sales), which ranks 15th in the international size ranking and serves other chemical segments. No. 2 is Boehringer Ingelheim, No. 3 is Merck KGaA in Darmstadt.
This article is based partly on our list of the 600 largest chemical companies in Germany and partly on our Chemical Industry Report. In our industry report of the German chemical sector you will find detailed information on areas of activity, an overview of the locations and clusters of the chemical industry, key financial figures as well as insights into the gender distribution and sustainability efforts of the industry.