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Welcome to Scrip 100 2018.

This year's Scrip 100 collection is bigger than ever, encompassing 2016 full-year financial data from more than 650 biopharmaceutical companies. The full set of businesses analyzed in our annual review saw a total profit of $136.8bn in 2016 – and the top 20 pharmas in the sector were responsible for 87% of the industry's gains. A full analysis of the biopharmaceutical sector's financial performance is included in our headline chapter.

Monetary scrutiny is not the only reason to investigate the content of Scrip 100 2018. This year's edition includes exclusive features across a broad range of critical industry topics, including a brand-new chapter on patient access – with articles on accelerated approval pathways, right-to-try legislation and rare diseases. Also, catch up on the slip-sliding European regulatory landscape, a scene that is undergoing an extreme makeover in the wake of Brexit revelations; get to grips with the reality of international referencing pricing; and, explore the latest in digital, from artificial intelligence use in the clinic to cyber safety battles.

Attempting the art of divination, we look at what the future holds for approved immuno-oncology checkpoint inhibitors and pipeline prospects. The PD-1/PD-L1 pipeline includes more than 480 ongoing clinical trials, however this oncology boom is creating challenges for investors, innovators and regulators alike. Not forgetting the people that keep the pharma sector rolling, we delve into the critical concern of future-proofing talent. Reviewing a survey conducted by In Vivo and EBD Academy, we hear what industry decision-makers in the US and Europe recommend for attracting the best talent, boosting employee engagement, fostering diversity and maintaining the product innovation that patients demand and society expects.

Included in the online Scrip 100 offering is our Legacy chapter that includes PDFs of Scrip 100 since 2009. You will also find downloadable infographics throughout various chapters, including the Scrip 100 numbers crunched and a breakdown of 29 of this year's biopharma initial public offerings.

Lucie Ellis

Senior Editor, Scrip 100