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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GSK weighing scrapping investor payout to boost dividend instead

Analysts are suggesting that GlaxoSmithKline is thinking hard about scrapping a plan to reward investors by paying them about £4 billion and instead use money from its deals with Novartis to prop up its dividend, Reuters reports.

Novartis faces more kickback scrutiny after $45M Express Scripts settlement

An Express Scripts unit agreed to settle claims with the U.S. Department of Justice that it participated in a scheme with Novartis that ended in improper government reimbursements. And if the DOJ has its way, the settlement could lead to more legal action against Novartis in a separate suit.

Cipla leans toward compromise in India court case over Onbrez from Novartis

Cipla offered a compromise of sorts to Novartis through the Delhi High Court, where it is appealing a stay order on producing a generic of the Swiss drugmaker's Onbrez (indacaterol) for respiratory diseases. Novartis rejected the offer outright.

From the pharma C-suite: Notable, quotable remarks on Asia, emerging markets for Q1

FiercePharmaAsia combs earnings calls by major drug companies for notable and quotable nuggets on emerging markets and Asia to track the latest sales trends and insight into business outlooks in markets as diverse as China, India and Japan to Southeast Asia.

What price MS therapy? Thanks to price hikes, $50K-plus, even for decades-old meds

The cost of multiple sclerosis drugs has skyrocketed over the past 20 years, and it's not just new drugs driving that increase. Not one MS drug has a list price of less than $50,000 per year in the U.S., and some treatments cost 7 times more now than they did in 1995, a new study found.

Lilly's Elanco to unload former Novartis vax plant

It has been a rough ride for the former Novartis, former Chiron vaccine plant in Vacaville, CA. Eli Lilly picked it up last year as part of its deal to buy Novartis' animal health assets but has decided it does not need the biologics API facility and so is putting it up for sale.

Lilly, Novartis and Pfizer give trial-patient matching tech to TrialReach

Eli Lilly, Novartis and Pfizer have found a new home for the tech they created to improve ClinicalTrials.gov. The group is giving what it has achieved to date to TrialReach, a tech company developing a patient-focused clinical trial discovery platform.

With GSK swap behind it, Novartis scouts for $2B-$5B buyouts

A little more than a month after completing its big asset swap with GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez says he's going back to the bargaining table to look for some bolt-on buyouts in the $2 billion to $5 billion range.

Novartis unleashes M&A scouts as GSK deal starts to deliver on margins

Novartis beat profit estimates for the first quarter, partly because of the big deal closing with GlaxoSmithKline March 2. Now, CEO Joe Jimenez says the Swiss drugmaker is back on the dealmaking trail.

Novartis' 'megablockbuster' heart drug LCZ696 wins another rave preview

Readying itself for what looks like a blockbuster victory lap in the cardiovascular field, Novartis has notched boasting rights for its heart drug LCZ696, gaining recognition in the U.K. as a "promising innovative medicine" that could be made available to patients ahead of formal marketing approval.