Sizes and specialisations of pharmas

Companies in the sector fall into groups when looked at in terms of the above criteria and size:

  • the biggest pharmaceutical companies have large local sales forces and a wide range of established products,
  • “speciality pharma” companies that have a narrower product range and a sales force that concentrates on key product types and regions,
  • smaller companies that tend to have strong pipelines but few established products and weak, if any, sales forces.

The last category clearly includes many companies that are essentially still start-ups — even though they may be listed. The major pharmaceutical companies dominate the sector and account for most of its market cap.