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Basel pharmaceuticals lead the way in research

The two Basel-based pharmaceutical companies Roche and Novartis are the two Swiss companies with the highest spending on R&D. They are also among the top 10 worldwide.

Roche
Image Credit: Roche

Strategy&PwC’s strategy consulting division, published its list of companies with the highest R&D spending. U.S. technology companies topped the list with Amazon coming in first place ($16.1 billion in 2017), followed by Alphabet ($13.9 billion) and Intel ($12.7 billion).

Switzerland’s two highest ranked companies, Roche and Novartis, also ranked strongly internationally: Roche came in seventh place with $11.4 billion, followed by Novartis in tenth with $9.6 billion. The third highest ranked Swiss company was Nestlé, which came in 80th. Three other pharmaceutical companies, all from the U.S., made it into the top 15: Merck ($10.1 billion/8th place), Johnson & Johnson ($9.1 billion /12th) and Pfizer ($7.9 billion/14th).

Strategy& predicts that pharmaceutical companies will soon surpass technology companies in R&D research internationally.

“The healthcare sector will overtake the top spenders in R&D in the coming years: R&D spending rose by 5.9 per cent in just one year. This will help give Swiss companies fresh impetus for their 2018 R&D budgets,” said Alex Koster, managing director of Strategy& in Switzerland. 

Roche and Novartis are also increasing their research intensity this year – i.e. the share of R&D expenditures in total sales – from 19.9 per cent to 21.9 per cent for Roche, and from 19.2 per cent to 19.4 per cent for Novartis.

For more information about the pharmaceutical industry in Switzerland, download our factsheet.

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