Persistently high inflation, huge interest-rate hikes, and military conflict in Ukraine have significantly raised the probability of a global recession. Ned Davis Research estimates that there's a 98.1% chance of one by sometime in 2023.

Healthcare is one sector of the global economy that should, for the most part, hold up well. This is because healthcare goods and services are indispensable, especially with a global population that is aging and more prone to health conditions. Here are two companies that are poised to meet the growing demand for medical devices and prescription drugs.

A doctor meets with a patient for an appointment.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Abbott Laboratories

Most people probably know healthcare giant Abbott Laboratories (ABT -1.61%) best for its COVID-19 rapid test, BinaxNOW. Its diagnostics business, led by its COVID-19 tests, is the company's largest segment, accounting for 41.5% of its $23.2 billion in total first-half 2022 revenue.

But with countless patents for lifesaving and life-enhancing medical devices and consumer health products (like Similac infant formula), as well as generic pharmaceuticals in international markets, Abbott is more than most consumers recognize it to be. With the global elderly population set to soar from 617 million in 2015 to 1.6 billion by 2050, increased demand for the company's products and new product launches should lead revenue and earnings higher.

Analysts are anticipating that Abbott's non-GAAP (adjusted) diluted earnings per share (EPS) will grow at 11% annually for the next five years. The company also currently provides income investors a 1.8% dividend yield, slightly higher than the 1.7% yield of the S&P 500 index. And since its dividend payout ratio will come in at around just 37% in 2022, Abbott's dividend is poised to continue quickly growing in the years ahead.

Sealing the deal on the "buy" case for the healthcare stock is its valuation. Abbott's forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 22.1 is just below the medical devices industry's average forward P/E of 22.7. For a bluechip stock such as Abbott, even a slight discount can make it an intriguing pick for investors.

2. Sanofi

French drugmaker Sanofi (SNY -1.44%) is most recognized for its megablockbuster immunology drug, Dupixent, which it co-owns with Regeneron (REGN -1.70%). Sanofi's share of revenue from the drug surged 44.4% higher year over year to nearly $4 billion in the first half of 2022. This was thanks to increased market share, and an expanded indication last October to treat children ages 6-11 with asthma in the U.S.

With Dupixent's approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat eosinophilic esophagitis earlier this year, the drug's revenue has plenty of room to grow in the years ahead. Sanofi has also five other drugs and a polio/pertussis vaccine franchise on track to generate at least $1 billion in revenue this year.

And the company has a pipeline of 87 projects in different stages of clinical development across multiple therapy areas, such as immunology, oncology, and vaccines. Analysts expect a bright future from Sanofi, with 12.3% annual earnings growth over the next five years.

Investors who need secure, passive income right now won't be disappointed by the stock's 4.4% dividend yield. The forward dividend payout ratio is projected to be modest 42%, which would leave Sanofi with the capital necessary to execute on acquisitions and repay debt to strengthen the business. The best part is that the stock can be purchased at a forward P/E ratio of 9.1, which is well below the industry average of 10.8.