Good morning, Dailies. Today we release the 63rd iteration of the famed Fortune500â€”our annual roster of Americaâ€™s biggest companies. (Go ahead: Click awayand make our Web servers do an honest dayâ€™s work.)
No. 1 on the list isâ€¦(right here, at your fingertips). Okay, I knowâ€”Youâ€™re above such ruses. So Iâ€™ll let it be.
I will say this, however: Whomever the No. 1, 2, and 3 companies on the Fortune500 might be, seeing the 2017 cast ensembleâ€”in all their naked $12 trillion-in-revenue gloryâ€”itâ€™s hard not to notice one thing: Thereâ€™s a whole lot of health-related selling going on.
Insurer United Health Group, CVS Health, and McKesson, the enormous wholesaler/distributor of medicines, are each in the top 10. (Fortuneâ€™s Erika Fry has written a knock-your-socks-off feature on McKesson in the issue, so you may want to run out to your local newsstand and pick up a mag.)
CVS Health, the smallest of that trio with $178 billion in revenue last year, still racked up more dollars at the register than General Motors did. And as much as CVS hawks Altoids and two-for-one Lindt truffles at the checkout, the lionâ€™s share of its revenues (as much as $96 billion in 2016, according to the Drug Channels Institute) comes from its retail chain and specialty (mail-order) pharmacies.
Then there are companies like General Electric, which we donâ€™t categorize as health companies, but kinda sorta are. GEâ€™s medical systems business (diagnostic imaging and more) is that conglomerateâ€™s second-largest segmentâ€”and were it a standalone firm, its more than $18 billion in 2016 sales would land it on the Fortune 500. The same goes for our No. 1 entry, which does a fair amount of script-filling ($21 billion worth, in fact).
The industry of health is everywhere in the 500, from Alphabetâ€™s Verily to IBMâ€™s Watson. Which, on the whole, is a good thing, I think. Because some of these companies may actually figure out how to make healthcare work.