With U.S. retail sales declining 0.6% in November, fears of a recession are growing. If you haven't already prepared your portfolio for an economic downturn, this makes now the second-best time to prepare. 

And there's no better way to do that than by focusing on economic sectors that provide essential goods and/or services. Arguably no sector is more important to the economy than healthcare.

AstraZeneca (AZN 0.61%) and Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY -0.02%) are two pharmaceutical stocks that investors can buy with less than a $100 bill. Let's dig into the case for buying each stock.

1. AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca's $219 billion market capitalization makes it the eighth-largest pharmaceutical company in the world and the third-biggest international-based drugmaker. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the $44.6 billion in revenue that analysts expect the company to generate in 2022 is well-diversified. 

Including its COVID-19 vaccine, known as Vaxzevria, and its monoclonal antibodies COVID-19 treatment, called Evusheld, AstraZeneca has 14 products in its portfolio on pace to be blockbusters in 2022. These include the company's oncology medicine dubbed Tagrisso (on track for at least $5.5 billion in 2022 revenue), the diabetes and heart failure drug termed Farxiga, and the rare disease drug labeled Ultomiris

And as impressive as AstraZeneca's existing product portfolio is, the future is just as bright. That is because the company currently has 179 projects in different stages of clinical development across therapeutic areas, such as oncology, vaccines and immune therapies, rare diseases, and respiratory and immunology.

As more of these projects are approved by regulatory authorities and commercialized, revenue and profits should grow. This is why analysts anticipate that AstraZeneca's non-GAAP (adjusted) diluted earnings per share will compound at 15.3% annually through the next five years. For context, this is more than double the 6.9% average growth projection for the drug manufacturer industry. 

The stock's 2.1% dividend yield is moderately higher than the S&P 500 index's 1.7% yield. And with the dividend payout ratio poised to be around 44% in 2022, the dividend is well-covered. 

At the current $68 share price, AstraZeneca trades at a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 19.1 compared to the drug manufacturer industry average of 12.4. Given the company's superior growth prospects to its peers, this is an attractive entry point for growth and income investors alike. 

A doctor and patient talk to each other during an appointment.

Image source: Getty Images.

2. Bristol Myers Squibb

Bristol Myers Squibb boasts a $159 billion market capitalization, positioning it as the ninth-biggest drugmaker in the world and the sixth-largest United States-based pharmaceutical company. 

Similar to AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers' drug portfolio is exceptional. The company boasts three mega-blockbuster drugs in its portfolio, including blood thinner Eliquis (co-owned with Pfizer) as well as the cancer drugs Opdivo and Revlimid. Other blockbusters include immunology drug Orencia and the oncology therapies Sprycel and Yervoy. Thanks to in-house research and development and recent acquisitions, the company has been able to double its revenue in the last five years. 

While Eliquis and Opdivo will likely lose patent protection in the second half of the decade, Bristol Myers should have the firepower to navigate this patent cliff. That's because, in addition to more than 50 compounds currently under development in its pipeline, the company has launched three drugs with potential mega-blockbuster potential in 2022 alone.

These include the cancer treatment Opdualag, rare heart disease drug Camzyos, and immunology therapy Sotyktu. Bristol Myers expects these three products to haul in more than $12 billion in combined peak annual revenue. 

This is why analysts are forecasting 4.1% annual adjusted diluted EPS growth over the next five years for the company. And with the dividend payout ratio projected to be just 29% in the next 12 months, Bristol Myers' 3.1% dividend yield is also quite safe. 

At the current $73 share price, the stock is trading at a forward P/E ratio of just 9.2. Since this is well below the drug manufacturer industry average of 12.4, Bristol Myers' looming patent expirations appear to already be priced into the stock.