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

Latest Headlines

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.

Italian officials probe Novartis for possible flu vaccine pricing fraud

Novartis is in the process of trying to hive off its flu vaccines business after selling off the rest of its vax unit to GlaxoSmithKline. But first, it may have to deal with an Italian fraud investigation over pricing on a pair of those products.

Novartis in more hot water in Italy as officials probe possible pricing fraud

Novartis is already under scrutiny in Italy after authorities there accused it of colluding to protect sales of eye drug Lucentis. But the Swiss pharma's situation in the country may be getting stickier, with authorities scouring its offices there for information on flu vaccine pricing.

CEO: New Novartis will be a lean, mean, profit-making machine

Remember how Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez vowed to improve the Swiss drugmaker's margins? Would have been there and done that, if the company's recent spate of deals had been done last year--by 2.5 percentage points, Novartis now says.

Meet the new Novartis: Slimmer structure, same R&D commitment

Novartis, the industry's largest employer, is flipping units and streamlining its operation to boost margins, but the company has no plans to take its foot off the gas in R&D, keeping the pace on a $10-billion-a-year research budget with hopes of cranking out 14 blockbusters by 2018.

Ranbaxy's woes--and consumers' loss--means gain for Novartis, AstraZeneca and Roche

Manufacturing snafus have delayed copycat versions of Novartis' blood pressure drug Diovan, AstraZeneca's stomach-acid remedy Nexium and Roche's antiviral drug Valcyte.

Pfizer, Novartis square off for tussle in meningitis vaccine market

Pfizer and Novartis have been racing to get their meningitis B vaccines to market for years. But as of Tuesday, the contest has never been closer, with both companies submitting approval applications to the FDA. Now, it's up to the agency to decide which shot gets the green light first--and first crack at the wide-open patient pool that comes with it.