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Drug manufacturing is the most promising industry in the healthcare sector. These companies employ a dedicated team of scientists and researchers who invented many drugs that saved millions of lives. Thanks to their cutting-edge research facilities, the average human life expectancy is getting higher and higher.

We decided to screen for highly profitable drug manufacturers with substantial dividends and a maximum P/E ratio of 20. All of the following companies offered a minimum 4% dividend yield. While there are hundreds of healthcare companies listed in NYSE, only the following large cap pharmaceuticals fit into this criteria:

AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN): AstraZeneca is a global pharmaceutical and biologics company headquartered in London, UK. It is the world's seventh-largest pharmaceutical business measured by revenues. The company has a diversified portfolio of products that provide solutions to cancer, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, infection, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation related diseases. The market capital of this company in the USA is $64.05 billion, and P/E ratio is 8.31. With a dividend yield of 5.53%, AstraZeneca is a superb stock for dividend lovers.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY): Bristol-Myers is a pharmaceutical company, headquartered in NYC. Bristol-Myers manufactures prescription pharmaceuticals in several therapeutic areas, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis and psychiatric disorders. BMS is a Fortune 500 Company (#114 in 2010 list) with a market capital of $44.54 billion. Current P/E ratio is 14.61 with a dividend yield of 4.84%.

Eli Lilly & Co (NYSE:LLY) : Eli Lilly's global headquarters is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Eli Lilly is the 10th largest pharmaceutical company in the world. Eli Lilly is among the leaders of innovation: The company was the first to mass-produce penicillin. The market cap is $39.78 billion, and P/E ratio is 7.49. With a dividend yield of 5.68%, Eli Lilly is one of the top stocks for the ultimate retirement portfolio.

Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS): Novartis International is a multinational pharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland. Novartis is the sixth largest pharmaceutical company in terms of revenue with a profit margin of about 20%. The market cap is $124.44 billion, and P/E ratio is 12.76. Last year's yield was 4.24%.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE): Pfizer is a truly global pharmaceutical company, headquartered in New York City. Pfizer is the world's number one pharmaceutical in terms of sales numbers. The company also has a giant research center in Groton, Connecticut. After settling for the fraud allegations, the stock prices started soaring. The market cap is $159.26 billion with a P/E ratio of 19.53. Last year's yield was 4%. David Tepper, the contrarian investor, is extremely bullish on Pfizer.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: Top 5 Pharmaceuticals Paying Excellent Dividends