Pharma 502021 was a bright year for many pharmaceutical firms, especially those able to find widespread support for COVID-19 vaccines and therapies. 

But it would be wrong to take a myopic view of the pandemic as a chief growth driver for leading drug developers. The most significant impact of the pandemic may be how it changed R&D rather than how it drove sales in 2021.  

Three companies rounding out the top five — including the Chinese conglomerate Sinopharm, AbbVie and Novartis — didn’t have material COVID-19-related sales in 2021. The same holds for the bulk of companies in this year’s Pharma 50 report, which ranks the industry’s leading companies by overall revenue. 

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