The Swiss pharma company Novartis ranks in the top 10 of pharma companies, and boasts drugs ranging from Ritalin and Lamisil to clozapine, Diovan and Gilenya. It also owns the generic giant Sandoz. Unlike its competitor, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis did not offer free flu vaccines during the H1N1 flu epidemic.

In March 2011, Novartis gained FDA approval for Gilenya, its multiple sclerosis drug. The nod came on the heels of a narrower EMA approval, which grants second-line treatment status. According to experts, the drug could be worth $3 billion in annual sales as the first oral MS drug on the market.

Novartis purchased the remaining portion of eye care company Alcon in a $12.9 billion deal at the end of 2010, marking the end of one of the biggest battles in biopharma. Although many analysts predicted heavy layoffs in 2010 from the company, only 1,400 jobs were cut in December 2010, with the disclaimer that more could be on the way as Novartis, like others in the industry, analyzes its efficiency.

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Latest Headlines

Novartis accused again of kickback tactics in new whistleblower suit

Kickback accusations have yet again been raised against Novartis, a company that four years ago promised to live by a new integrity code. A former exec now suggests she was fired for suggesting similar methods in the way Novartis planned to award a contract to wholesaler and health services company McKesson.

Novartis' leading CAR-T cancer therapy gains breakthrough status at the FDA

The FDA has provided its special 'breakthrough' status for Novartis' closely-watched development program for a personalized CAR-T cancer therapy, promising to help speed development for engineered T cells.

EU approves GSK's Mekinist and Novartis will reap the rewards

GlaxoSmithKline has notched another approval for its novel melanoma med Mekinist, and Novartis gets to celebrate. The drug, which the EU has approved for use there, is among those GSK is selling to the Swiss drugmaker in a $16 billion deal.

Novartis starts shipping Flucelvax ahead of upcoming flu season

Novartis has started shipping vaccines for customers in the U.S. in advance of the next flu season, which doesn't include a quadrivalent offering like many of its competitors. But the shipments will include Flucelvax, which now has an FDA-licensed American plant that's poised for production whenever flu shots are needed.

Novartis Japan unit faces another criminal charge in data-manipulation scandal

Last month, Japanese authorities arrested an ex-Novartis employee who allegedly manipulated trial data later used to promote the blockbuster blood pressure med Diovan. But now, it looks as if he may not be the only one paying the price.

Novartis pulls EMA app for new Tasigna use, but wins new NICE nod for Gleevec

As blood cancer wonder-drug Gleevec ages, Novartis is trying to build out indications for follow-up Tasigna. After an up-and-down week for the pair, the Swiss pharma is now short a potential Tasigna label expansion, thanks to a snag in Europe. But a change of heart for the U.K.'s cost watchdog on Gleevec may give the franchise a boost.

FDA OKs Ranbaxy New Jersey plant to make generic Diovan

Both the active pharmaceutical and the formulation plants in India that Ranbaxy Laboratories planned to use to manufacture the long-delayed generic of Novartis' blood pressure drug Diovan are under FDA import alerts. But the Indian drugmaker has finessed a manufacturing workaround with the agency to make the heart drug at its Ohm Laboratories plant in New Jersey.

UPDATED: Ranbaxy's generic of Novartis blockbuster Diovan approved for launch

The long-delayed and highly anticipated launch of generic Diovan is on the way, which is a bummer for Novartis and a huge boost for Indian drugmaker Ranbaxy Laboratories. It is also validation for the decision by Sun Pharmaceutical's owner, billionaire Dilip Shanghvi, who struck a $3.2 billion deal to buy Ranbaxy despite its years of FDA entanglements over quality issues.

Report: Roche, Novartis among Swiss companies with highest pay gaps

The salary differences between top executives and the lowest-paid employees widened at 18 large Swiss companies last year, with pharma giants Roche and Novartis ranking high on the list of top offenders. That's the conclusion of a new report from Travail Suisse, an organization of trade unions.

Novartis MS drug Gilenya could relieve painful side effect of chemo

Novartis' multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya may be able to mitigate a painful side effect of chemotherapy in cancer patients, according to a new preclinical study.