Pharmaceuticals are an essential part of the healthcare ecosystem. They create fulfilling jobs, drive medical progress, and support global economic growth. However, their chemicals also pollute the environment and contribute to biodiversity loss, antimicrobial resistance, and climate change.
The pharmaceutical industry develops and sells medicines to cure illnesses, vaccinate against diseases, and relieve symptoms. But what defines illness?
Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals
Bayer is a global pharmaceutical company famous for its Aspirin, but it also makes other popular consumer products, including Claritin, Alka-Seltzer, MiraLAX, and Midol. Its prescription medications are the bulk of its revenue, and include women’s healthcare, cardiology, hematology/neurology, and oncology products. The company has also invested heavily in its cell and gene therapy division.
In the United States, the company’s sales are mainly driven by Xarelto and Eylea, its two latest launch drugs. Its other notable products include NEXAVAR, an anticancer drug; radium Ra 223 dichloride, a radioactive imaging agent; and Dienogest, which treats endometriosis.
In the US, the company’s employees earn a median salary of $71,000. However, this number can vary widely based on your job title and location. This data is based on anonymous employee reviews submitted to CareerBliss.
Healthcare pharmaceuticals AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is one of the world’s largest drug makers, developing blockbuster drugs for conditions like diabetes and cancer. It has a history dating back to 1948, when it first put the pain-numbing drug lidocaine on the Swedish market.
In 1999, Astra AB and Zeneca Group plc merged to become AstraZeneca. The company had early successes, such as the gastrointestinal drug Prilosec and the cardiovascular medication Crestor. But patent expiries hit the drug maker hard and the loss of exclusivity for its oncology drugs Arimidex and Nolvadex spelled trouble.
AstraZeneca tries to stay focused on following science and putting patients first. But its efforts have been complicated by lawsuits over alleged side effects of its drugs, including the antipsychotics Seroquel IR and XR. The company has also been sued for its proton pump inhibitors, which are used to treat acid reflux and heartburn. The lawsuits claim the drugs are linked to kidney injury and disease. These claims have prompted a review of the safety of the medications.
Healthcare pharmaceuticals Merck & Co.
In the early 1990s, Merck’s drug pipeline dried up and sales growth slowed. Merck’s biggest success during this time was Zocor, a cholesterol medication that generated over $1 billion in annual sales. At the time, it was the largest-selling pharmaceutical on the market.
The company’s roots date back to 1668, when Friedrich Jacob Merck purchased an apothecary shop in Darmstadt, Germany. His descendant Emanuel converted the business into a chemical-pharmaceutical factory. Its products included early painkillers such as morphine and codeine.
Today, Merck’s main focus is on cancer drugs and diabetes medicines like Januvia. It also produces vaccines, antihistamines and veterinary medications. The company also has an extensive research and development division. In addition, it operates several subsidiaries, including the pharmaceutical distribution companies Calgon Vestal Laboratories and Kelco. Its Merck-Medco Managed Care subsidiary provides pharmacy benefit management services. The company also owns the chemical manufacturing operations of Sigma-Aldrich and Merck Sharp & Dohme in the United States.
Novartis sets itself apart from the rest of the pharmaceutical industry through its ethical work practices and focus on making a difference in developing countries. The company’s CEO, Vas Narasimhan, has set strategic goals to promote the success of his employees, drive innovation, operate efficiently, embrace technology and build trust with society. They also have a strong commitment to global health and work toward eliminating neglected diseases and reducing deaths from malaria and other infectious diseases.
As part of their U.S-first strategy, Novartis has combined their commercial teams by therapeutic area to overcome “friction” in the U.S. market, including prior authorization requirements and copay burdens, says the company’s president for U.S. innovative medicines, Victor Bulto. Novartis also performs well in the Access category by publicly disclosing its access activities and ensuring that it has policies in place to limit transfers of value to healthcare professionals. The company also has a good track record of enabling generic supply through licensing agreements and donating its medicines for neglected diseases.