Stock Exchange: EURONEXT Paris Ticker: SAN HQ: Paris, France Employees: 100,000



Rank 6 in 2016




Falls 1 place to 7th.  While the company is a top performer in R&D, it slips compared to peers in its overall approach to pricing and is amongst the few companies not to disclose patent statuses and clarify filing/enforcement policies.

Performance by technical area
Performance by strategic pillar


Holds 7th place, with limited public disclosure of the company’s approach to stakeholder engagement.


Holds 5th place, with a solid performance on mitigating the risk of non-compliance, but with sales agents remaining solely incentivised by sales targets.


Falls 1 place to 5th. Amongst the top performers in R&D for its priority R&D and access plans. However, pipeline progression is comparatively average.


Falls 2 places to 6th. Comparatively strong performance in registration, but pushed slightly down due to stronger performances from peers in both inter- and intra-country equitable pricing strategies.


Fall 2 places to 18th. Unlike many of its peers, it has no public position on patent filing and enforcement in low- and middle-income countries, or disclosure of patent status.


Maintains 8th place with a strong focus on manufacturing and health systems strengthening.


Takes the lead, with a strong donation programme aiming to eliminate human African trypanosomiasis.


Review policies for access-oriented IP management. Sanofi is one of five companies that does not yet commit to not file for and/or not enforce patents in the poorest countries. Sanofi can look to adopt a general public stance to not filing for or enforcing patents related to diseases in scope in Least Developed Countries, low-income countries, and in a subset of middle income countries.  Further, Sanofi can publicly disclose the status of its patents, clearly showing where products are on- and off-patent, and when patents are due to expire. Sixteen peers joined Pat-INFORMED, a platform to promote the accessibility of patent information for health agencies tasked with the procurement of medicines. Sanofi could disclose patent information via this platform, or also elect to self-disclose patent status.

Improve access plans for R&D projects during development. Although Sanofi has the third-highest proportion of late-stage R&D projects with access plans in place, its process to establish these provisions can be strengthened. For example, the company can go further than plans for WHO prequalification, and also implement equitable pricing strategies and registration targets. Sanofi can  expand access planning to all R&D projects, regardless of product type and in-house or collaborative status, and implement a firmer timeline for developing these access provisions by Phase II of clinical development. Specific examples include developing access provisions for projects such as its Phase II clinical candidate preventive vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and its newly approved insulin lispro biosimilar, Admelog®.

Review sales incentive structures. Sanofi can work towards decoupling sales incentives from sales targets to better incentivise responsible practices. Removing an emphasis on sales targets is recognised as a mechanism for reducing the impact of unethical marketing on, for e.g, rational prescribing. This can be critical for a company like Sanofi that produces antibiotics and other products which are often inappropriately used.

Change since 2016

  • Entered into a technology transfer agreement with Moroccan manufacturer, Maphar, in 2017 to support the local production of Sanofi products and help improve supply in Africa.
  • Joined Access Accelerated with multiple initiatives including its mental health programme, FAST (Fighting Against Stigma). It has also committed to measure impact and share results publicly via Access Observatory.
  • Launched the Faster2Care drone delivery project to improve delivery of essential medicines in the Great Mekong Subregion to help control artemisinine resistance and contribute to malaria elimination in the region.
  • Working since September 2016 with ACAME (Association des Centrales d’Achats Africaines de Médicaments Essentiels) to build supply chain capacity for central medical stores in the Western and Central African regions.
  • Developed a policy for new post-trial access for clinical trial participants once trials have concluded
  • Outsources research on antimicrobials  to Evotec.

Pipeline​ and Portfolio

for diseases and countries in scope


Mid-sized pipeline: 56 R&D projects for diseases in scope (36 medicines; 20 preventive vaccines).
Clinical candidates: 36, including fexinidazole for the treatment of human African trypanosomiasis and a preventive vaccine for rabies.
Regulatory approvals: 1, including a biosimilar for insulin lispro (Admelog®) for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. 
R&D focus: communicable diseases (lower respiratory infections and TB) and non-communicable diseases (diabetes mellitus). 
Access provisions: for 22 projects, most commonly plans to apply for WHO prequalification.


Comparatively large portfolio: 122 products for diseases in scope (102 medicines; 16 preventive vaccines; 4 platform technologies).
Portfolio focus: non-communicable diseases (diabetes mellitus and ischaemic heart disease) and communicable diseases (lower respiratory infections and diarrhoeal diseases).
Essential medicines: 66% of Sanofi's medicines and vaccines are currently listed on the 2017 WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (WHO EML).
First-line treatments: 63% of Sanofi's medicines and vaccines have first-line indications for diseases in scope.

Projects in the pipeline: 56*
Products on the market: 122
Projects for R&D priority targets with access provisions: 21
Essential medicines with first-line indications: 61

Business context

Five business units: Diabetes & Cardiovascular, Consumer Healthcare, Vaccines, Specialty Care (rare diseases, multiple sclerosis, oncology & immunology), General Medicines & Emerging Markets (established prescription products & generics). Its vaccines portfolio focuses on paediatric vaccines, influenza, adult and adolescent booster vaccines, meningitis, and travel and endemic vaccines. 

M&A news: 2016 conclusion of joint vaccines venture with Merck & Co., Inc. in Europe to independently manage their product portfolios. 2018 acquisition of Ablynx, a biopharmaceutical company. 

Presence in emerging markets: In 2018, Sanofi reports sales in 93 countries in scope; three less than in the 2016 Index. It is the company with the second highest number of countries in scope with sales. It reports that approximately 30% of its sales in 2017 came from emerging markets.

Sales in countries in scope
Net sales by geographic region

* Figure excludes 3 projects that do not fall into the listed phases of development: e.g., technical lifecycle projects, diagnostics, platform technologies, vector control products, investigator sponsored trials and Phase IV projects.
**Neglected Tropical Diseases, while also communicable, are highlighted separately throughout the Index. See Appendix II. 
***See Appendix IV for definition.

Learn more

View our detailed overview of each company’s performance in the Index, including breakdowns of their product portfolios and R&D pipelines.

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