What is Big Pharma?

The medical and pharmaceutical industry is full of niche terms thanks to the complex processes and sciences behind products and services. Here at Clarity Pharma, we make it our business to ensure that clients using our multi-channel distribution, marketing and consultancy services can do so without confusion, simplifying processes as much as possible. There are some widely used terms that are used outside of the industry too that you may have come across through media sources, with one such term being ‘Big Pharma’. Here, we explain what is big pharma and whether the term is good for the industry.


What is Big Pharma & How the Term is Used

‘Big Pharma’ is used as a collective term to describe the global pharmaceutical industry as a whole. It is generally used when talking about the largest corporations within the industry, such as Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Roche, Novartis etc. In 2020, Johnson & Johnson, for example, had the largest revenue of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies at $56.1bn, followed closely by Pfzier with $51.75bn. Big Pharma is responsible for some of the most popular pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare products globally, as well as being at the forefront of prescription drugs and vaccine development, including for COVID-19.

Whilst being a collective term in the same way that the largest global tech companies such as Google, Apple and Microsoft are referred to as ‘Big Tech’, the term ‘Big Pharma’ is also known as a less positive reference. Due to the size, power and influence of the world’s biggest organizations, some people have a distrust and an anti-corporation stance. With the rise of alternative medicine and an anti-vaccination rhetoric globally, the term has been adopted to describe the biggest organizations having a negative influence over public health.


The Benefits of Big Pharma

Like all large corporations are subject to scrutiny, the pharmaceutical industry is no different. When there is money involved, there will always be those that are sceptical of Big Pharma’s intentions. Much of the money made by the biggest corporations goes back into research and development as well as the marketing of these products. Many of the most popular healthcare products wouldn’t be possible without Big Pharma’s involvement, as well as many ongoing clinical trials for areas such as neuroscience, immunology, and diseases such as cancer. The current global pandemic also brought Big Pharma to the forefront of vaccine development, with millions now vaccinated globally thanks to the efforts of the largest pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca and Pfizer.


As multi-channel distributors of medical and pharmaceutical products worldwide, we know first-hand the efforts of companies within the industry. At Clarity Pharma, we help identify the obstacles and solutions from storage to delivering to hospitals and clinical facilities. We have worked together with manufacturers over the last 20 years to ensure a seamless journey from the production line to the front-line, such as in hospitals and by medical staff. To find out more about our services, please get in touch.