Economic Impact

Economic Impact

Long-term business success depends on making relevant, quality products through sustainable and ethical practices.



Globalization and the expanding reach of firms during the past decade have increased expectations that multinational enterprises will create more social value, beyond just regulatory compliance and philanthropic contributions. Corporate responsibility has evolved to be an important element of the private sector’s response to these expectations.

While it can be seen either as a way to improve corporate reputation or simply as a response to a moral imperative to do good, we believe that corporate responsibility is critical to our business success and can provide us with new opportunities to create shared, or integrated, value—that is, addressing social issues through business solutions. At the most basic level of delivering integrated value, our principal economic contribution to society is made through the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of our products, which directly improve and maintain the health of individuals and communities around the world, helping them to lead more productive lives.

For additional information about our business and economic performance, please see our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017.


Financial Information2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sales (in millions)$44,033 $42,237 $39,498 $39,807 $40,122
Research and development expenses (in millions)1$7,503 $7,180 $6,704 $10,124 $10,208
Number of employees (approximate)76,000 70,000 68,000 68,000 69,000
Number of stockholders on record149,400 142,000 135,500 129,500 121,700
Annual cash dividend paid per share$1.73 $1.77 $1.81 $1.85 $1.89
Global tax expense as reported on income statement (in millions)$1,028 $5,349 $942 $718 $4,103
1. Excludes restructuring and merger-related expenses.