The Drug Lords

The Men Who Run The Global Phamaceutical Industry

There are twelve major pharmaceutical firms that dominate this industry worldwide. Their combined market value is over $1 trillion with total  annual sales  of over $500 billion. The firms have developed and marketed most of the global blockbuster drugs. Most of the significant actions take by the FDA and other drug and medical device regulatory bodies involve the medications, devices, and vaccines developed by these firms.

These twelve companies are  also involved in most of the large product liability actions and class action suits regarding prescription drugs. The largest pharmaceutical firms spend tens of million of dollars in legal fees and lobbying expenses every year to protect the intellectual property they have created and  to defend themselves when side effects from their products injure customers.

The twelve CEOs on this list are the global drugs lords. They operate in a heavily regulated industry and have close and often fractious relationships with the governments whose agencies work with them. 24/7 Wall St. has looked at each company, its blockbuster drugs, and  its most valuable board members. These members are often not the most well-known people on the boards. They are, however, individuals from the medical community, former regulators, academicians involved in the medical research world, and fixers who serve on large numbers of boards and whose contacts in the world of government and industry are invaluable.

The drug industry is under seige by generics and rising costs of R&D. Many of the largest firms in the sector, the companies on this list,  have been though substantial restructurings and have fired tens of thousand of people, cutting R&D budgets in the process. This generation of CEOs and board members will shape the rapidly changing industry more than any other group in decades.

-Douglas A. McIntyre and Michael B. Sauter


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