List of the 5 largest pharmaceutical companies in Germany
According to the Federal Statistical Office, there are around 580 pharmaceutical companies in Germany. In 2019, they achieved a total turnover of around 41.5 billion euros with over 121,000 employees. Here is an overview of the 5 largest German pharmaceutical companies:
1. Boehringer Ingelheim AG & Co KG, Ingelheim
Boehringer has been in business in Ingelheim since 1885. The family-owned company is the leading research-based pharmaceutical manufacturer in Germany. Boehringer produces a wide range of medicines: prescription drugs, self-medication drugs and animal health products. In the industrial customer business, biopharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical production and pharmaceutical chemicals are important business areas. The company employs around 51,000 people.
Update 2022: In March 2022, Boehringer celebrated an approval success. The drug Jardiance received approval for a treatment of heart failure from both the FDA and the EU. The diabetes drug is thus expected to be able to generate sales of over five billion euros.
2. Bayer Pharma AG, Berlin
Bayer Pharma was created in 2006 through the merger of the pharmaceutical division of the chemical company Bayer with Schering. With around 40,000 employees and approximately 100 subsidiaries worldwide, the company forms a subgroup within Bayer. The Bayer subsidiary is part of the Pharmaceuticals Division. Its operating business comprises Diagnostic Imaging, General Medicine, Specialty Medicine and Women’s Healthcare.
Update 2022: Bayer Pharma has high hopes for a drug from its BlueRock subsidiary that can be used to treat Parkinson’s disease. In 2022, the company announced it had brought a double-digit team to its headquarters in Berlin-Wedding.
Update 2023: Bayer and the American Alphabet Group announce in early 2023 that they are launching a collaboration with high-performance computing power from the Google Cloud. The aim is to accelerate in-silico research and development and to exploit the latest opportunities in computer-aided drug discovery.
3. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt
The chemical and pharmaceutical company Merck emerged from a pharmacy founded in Darmstadt in the 17th century. The descendants of the founder Friedrich Jakob Merck are still the owners of the company. Today, Merck has 57,000 employees, a fifth of whom are in Germany and nearly 9,000 at its headquarters in Darmstadt. The business is divided into the Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials divisions.
4. Novartis Deutschland GmbH, Nuremberg
Novartis Germany is the German subsidiary of the Swiss Novartis Group. The latter was formed in 1996 from the merger of the Basel-based chemical and pharmaceutical groups Ciba-Geigy AG and Sandoz AG. The chemicals business was then largely spun off, while the pharmaceuticals business was expanded. Among other things, the entire generics division of BASF was taken over in 2000. Novartis offers products in the fields of generics, ophthalmology, over-the-counter drugs, vaccines and diagnostics.
5. Roche Deutschland Holding GmbH, Grenzach-Wyhlen
Roche Deutschland Holding bundles the German business activities of the Swiss pharmaceutical group Hoffmann-La Roche. With sales of 61 billion CHF (2019) and over 94,000 employees, it is the largest pharmaceutical company in the world. Roche Deutschland has almost 17,000 employees and includes the subsidiaries Roche Pharma AG, Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Roche Diagnostics Deutschland GmbH and Roche mtm laboratories AG.
This information is included in the list
- Company name
- General contact data (address, e-mail address, telephone number, URL)
- Serial letter suitable for addressing the management (e.g. “Sehr geehrter Herr Dr. Müller”)
- Name of the management
- Sales figures for the years 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 as well as employee figures for the years 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018 (taken from the annual and consolidated financial statements)
- Field of activity
Note: If the sales and employee figures are not included in a company’s own financial statements but in the parent company’s consolidated financial statements, the data from the respective consolidated financial statements are provided.
Comprehensive industry overview
You are not necessarily looking for contact details in the German pharmaceutical industry, but would like a comprehensive overview of the entire industry? Even then, our list of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Germany is ideal. Based on the revenue of the last years as well as the number of employees according to the last annual report, you can immediately see differences in size and market shares of the individual players. You no longer have to spend hours struggling through annual financial statements and paid databases. Even if we can support you with further analyses and reports, we are happy to help you. Within the scope of individual orders we have already been able to relieve many customers of tedious work.
Map: Pharma headquarters in Germany
Federal state: Most players are from Bavaria and Hesse
With our list of Germany’s largest pharmaceutical companies, we cover the entire country. To give you an idea of our list and the information it contains, we present the distribution by state in the graph below. You may see a clear pattern when it comes to regional distribution of the main players. Most of the pharmaceutical companies are located in Bavaria, followed by Hesse, Northrhine-Westfalia and Baden-Württemberg. Other German federal states play a minor role when it comes to the presence of pharmaceutical firms.
The German pharmaceutical industry: Statistics and facts
The production of pharmaceuticals has a long and great tradition in Germany. Some well-known pharmaceutical companies in the country have emerged from pharmacies that were founded centuries ago. Apart from a few large players in the market, the pharmaceutical industry is characterized by medium-sized companies.
According to the BVI industry association, there are hundreds of pharmaceutical companies in Germany. More than two thirds of them have less than 100 employees, another quarter between 100 and 500 employees. In 2018, a total of more than 120,000 employees worked in the pharmaceutical industry. It produced drugs to the value of 36.1 billion euros. The largest German pharmaceutical company is Bayer, although the Bayer Group is also active in other areas of the chemical industry. Next in line are Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck KGaA and Fresenius Kabi as part of the Fresenius Group.
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