Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) makes drugs for the brain, heart, and other body parts. The company's blockbuster cardiovascular lineup includes heart disease drug Plavix and Avapro for hypertension. BMS also makes antipsychotic medication Abilify and HIV treatments Reyataz and Sustiva. Most of its sales come from products in the therapeutic areas of cardiovascular care, immunology, metabolics, neuroscience, oncology, and virology. BMS has global research facilities and manufacturing plants, mainly in the US and Europe, and its products are marketed to health care practitioners, hospitals, and managed care providers in 100 countries.

Geographic Reach

While the company serves a global customer base, the US market accounts for about 60% of annual revenues. BMS' major research and development facilities are in New Jersey and Connecticut, with other sites in the US, the UK, Belgium, India, and other countries. It has about a dozen manufacturing facilities, which are located in the US and Puerto Rico, France, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, and China.


Following the 2012 patent expirations of key products Plavix and Avapro, BMS is pinning its hopes on rising sales of newer medicines in fields including neurology, metabolism, and oncology. Products showing promising growth during 2012 include Abilify, Baraclude (hepatitis B), and Sprycel (leukemia). Sales of biologic medicines (made using live proteins such as antibodies) -- including cancer drug Yervoy and rheumatoid arthritis medicine Orencia -- are also on the rise.

BMS is determined to keep pumping out new medicines from its pipeline: The company gained FDA approval of Eliquis (co-developed with Pfizer) for prevention of stroke in late 2012. Drugs approved in 2011 include kidney transplant drug Nulojix and  Yervoy for metastatic melanoma.

Sales and Marketing

US wholesale drug distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen account for about 55% of annual sales. In addition to wholesalers, the company also sells some products directly to customers including hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. BMS employs a direct sales force in certain markets; it also uses independent marketing representatives. Some products are sold through partnerships with other drugmakers, including Sanofi (Plavix and Avapro), Otsuka (Abilify), and Gilead Sciences (HIV drug Atripla and Sustiva).

Annual advertising expense of some $797 million goes towards television, radio, print, and digital promotion activities, which target consumers, medical professionals, benefit managers, and managed care organizations.

Financial Performance

The biggest financial story for BMS is the loss of US patent protection on its bestselling drugs Plavix and Avapro in the first half of 2012, which caused overall 2012 revenues to decline by 17% to some $17.6 billion. A 64% decrease in sales of Plavix (33% of revenues in 2011) created the most devastating impact, while Avapro sales (5% of revenues in 2011) declined 47%. Patent loss impacts were offset by increased revenues from newer products, as well as by growth from acquisitions.

Revenues have fluctuated for BMS over the years, rising in 2010 and 2011 but declining in 2009 after a series of asset divestitures. Restructuring efforts and other factors have also caused BMS' profits to rise and fall over the years, including a 47% slide to $2 billion in 2012 due to lower revenues and an asset impairment charge.


To prepare for the 2012 patent protection losses, the company has engaged in massive restructuring efforts over the past five years, including the divestiture of all of its non-pharmaceutical operations.

To remake itself into a biopharmaceutical powerhouse, the company has also engaged in its string-of-pearls pharmaceutical strategy, which aims to add harder-to-copy biotech drugs and drug candidates to its pipeline. Since 2007, the company has completed numerous licensing deals and major acquisitions in areas including hepatitis C, diabetes, and inflammatory disease. In 2012 the company estimated that biologics now make up about 40% of its development pipeline; BMS has also launched four biotech drugs into the commercial market.

The company's R&D efforts are focused on areas of significant unmet medical need, including psychiatric, neurological, cardiovascular, metabolism, oncology, bacterial and viral infections, and inflammatory or immune system disorders. Collaborations are an important part of BMS' development and marketing strategy. BMS also works to expand its offerings and fight off patent expiration losses by finding new uses of already approved drugs; for instance, BMS and Otsuka gained approval for Abilify as a treatment for bipolar disorder in 2011.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Acquisitions are a major piece of BMS' growth goals: In 2012 the company made a huge splash when it acquired Amylin Pharmaceuticals in a $7 billion deal ($5.3 billion in cash, plus $1.7 billion in debt and contractual obligations to Amylin's former partner Eli Lilly). The purchase added new diabetes drugs to BMS' offerings, including Byetta, Symlin, and Bydureon.  However, BMS sold its diabetes businesses, including Amylin, to former partner AstraZeneca in early 2013.

Earlier in 2012 BMS completed another big deal when the company purchased drug developer Inhibitex for a whopping $2.5 billion. The purchase added Inhibitex's lead hepatitis C asset, INX-189 to its growing portfolio of HCV programs. Inhibitex's INX-189 is an oral nucleotide polymerase (NS5B) inhibitor that is in Phase II development. 

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345 Park Ave
New York, NY 10154-0028
Phone: 1 (212) 546-4000
Fax: 1 (212) 546-4390


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: BMY
  • Stock Exchange: NYSE
  • CEO: Giovanni Caforio
  • CEO: Giovanni Caforio
  • Chairman: James M. Cornelius

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY
  • Princeton, NJ

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