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

Novartis weighs sale of contact lens care business as Alcon unit struggles to chart growth

Novartis is mulling a sale of its contact lens care business as the company faces sluggish growth for its Alcon unit and targets eye care innovation to swing its numbers northward.  

FDA approves Seqirus' Fluad, the first U.S. adjuvanted flu vaccine

The U.S. has its first publicly available adjuvanted seasonal flu vaccine in Fluad, formerly a Novartis shot that is now owned by CSL's Seqirus unit.

Russia hopes to lure drugmakers with increase in buying power

Russia has a lot of purchasing muscle, but few sellers when it comes to pharmaceuticals, so the government has a plan to lure them with a vast increase in the products it buys from local makers. The nation's officials are focusing on the foreign drugmakers to set up production plants in Russia as one way to emerge from a string of recessions.

UPDATED: Novartis' Alcon recalling more intraocular lenses in Japan due to reports of postoperative inflammation

Novartis' Alcon expanded the recall of its intraocular lenses in Japan, pushing the number of affected units to 89,042, due to a continued increase in reports of postoperative inflammation among patients who received the AcrySof IQ Toric lens.

JAMA: Valeant's 18-fold price hikes top widespread increases in dermatology prices

A new study shows that prices for 19 brand-name dermatology meds, including two from Valeant Pharmaceuticals, have increased almost fivefold, on average, over the past 6 years.

Novartis' Cosentyx price sets the stage for psoriasis battle

A revolution is happening in psoriasis treatment, and Novartis was the company to get it started with next-gen therapy Cosentyx, approved earlier this year. And the Swiss drugmaker in January set a list price it hoped would help turn the tide.

Novartis' Entresto gets the go-ahead in Europe

Novartis' blockbuster-in-waiting, Entresto, has been handed its second big approval. The new heart failure drug has snagged an OK from the European Commission.

Genmab's lymphoma project flops in Phase III with Novartis holding the bag

Genmab's plans to develop ofatumumab for lymphoma came to a halt as the company pulled the plug early on a Phase III trial that was unlikely to meet its goals, souring an investment from partner Novartis.

Novartis snags new approvals for Cosentyx in Europe

Novartis has been jockeying for additional uses for its next-gen psoriasis med, Cosentyx, hoping that a trifecta of indications will help generate blockbuster sales and distinguish the drug from its competition in a hot market. Now the med is moving one step closer toward achieving its blockbuster aspirations with an EU nod to treat patients with psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Advera Health: Novartis, GSK asthma meds linked to more side effects than Merck drugs

Bestselling asthma drugs from Novartis and respiratory behemoth GlaxoSmithKline are also showing more adverse events in post-marketing safety data than competing products from Merck, according to a new report, potentially presenting issues further down the line as companies duke it out for market share.