How Much are They Pumping Back In?

Following on from @Luca Dezzani’s post on the ‘Top 10 Pharmaceutical Companies 2017’ –, we at Pilatus were intrigued and wanted to find out the proportion of turnover reinvested into R&D, and the change it made in the rankings table when this criteria was incorporated.



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Firstly, AstraZeneca are punching above their weight! They’ve climbed 8 places with 26% of their total revenue being dedicated to R&D.

Likewise, Merck & Co have climbed up the ranking ladder. Merck spent no less than 25% of 2016’s revenue on research and development efforts.

Whatabout J&Jand Pfizer?

J&J and Pfizer, the two top ranking companies based on total revenue, appear not to be investing as great a proportion of their revenue into R&D based on the given data. However, it must be noted that the actual monetary value for both companies still ranks them in the top 6 (see spreadsheet below).

In summary, this data shows that last year, a total of just under $402 billion of revenue was generated. Whilst on average, the top ten pharma companies reinvested 18% of their turnover back into their labs.

Source: – Luca Dezzani, MD

2017 Trends & Transformations in the Pharma Supply Chain

An interesting read on the trends and transformations of pharma supply chain!


Trend #3: The rise of cold chain logistics
  • We have seen this reflected in our comparator sourcing requirements, with a growing demand for sourcing biosimilar comparators. In fact, 64% of comparators supplied by Pilatus in 2016 had to be controlled at 2° to 8°.

Things YOU should consider when selecting a vendor for cold chain comparator sourcing:

A) Does the vendor have the facilities, validated systems and processes in place to deal with your cold chain supply?

  • If working on a global clinical trial, what experience does your vendor have with global comparator supply customs clearance and cold chain shipping? Preparation is key in order to minimise transit time, ensuring on time supply and reducing the risk of temperature deviations. See a recent example of how Pilatus handled this issue in our 4th case study.

B) What are the vendor’s processes for managing temperature excursions?

  • Different manufacturers can vary in responsiveness and speed when it comes to dealing with temperature deviations. Strong relationships with innovators and manufacturers can speed this process.
  • Are intermediaries involved in the supply chain? The more steps there are in the supply chain can impact the speed and responsiveness in obtaining relevant product specific information.


  • Transformation #2: A shift toward global inventory management
  • This throws a big question mark over the increasingly popular local sourcing model for comparators. When local sourcing comparator products there are a number of challenges including working regionally with different vendors or different country supply managers.
  • If as the article suggests inventory management is moving towards global inventory management, working closely with the innovator and scheduling supply for your global supplies could be the way forward.
  • Could it be possible to schedule your local sourcing requirements centrally whilst maximising the benefits of reduced distribution costs and regulatory challenges?