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

FDA approves Novartis U.S. vaccine plant it is trying to sell

Novartis' $1 billion influenza vaccine manufacturing plant in Holly Springs, NC, has just become the first pandemic-ready site FDA-approved to make cell-culture influenza vaccines. Now it needs to find a buyer for the facility.

MenB survivors call for Bexsero coverage in Australia

Australian survivors of the deadly meningococcal B strain are mounting pressure on the country's Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee to include Novartis' Bexsero, the only approved vaccine for the disease, on its national immunization plan when it meets next month.

Novartis facility grabs FDA license to produce cell-culture vaccines

After getting the FDA's OK for cell-culture vaccine Flucelvax back in November 2012, Novartis now has a U.S. facility licensed by the agency to produce it. The drugmaker's Holly Springs, NC, plant is now the country's first pandemic-ready site with the regulator's green light to make cell-culture flu vaccines, it said Monday.

Tokyo prosecutors raid Novartis Japan in Diovan probe

After Japanese authorities arrested an ex-Novartis employee Wednesday, prosecutors raided the company's Tokyo office to continue their probe into data manipulation. The move comes six months after Japan's health ministry first filed a complaint to prosecutors alleging that the company used exaggerated advertising to market the blood pressure drug Diovan.

Japanese authorities arrest ex-Novartis employee in data-manipulation scandal

Japanese police brought in Nobuo Shiraishi, a former Novartis worker linked to discredited studies of the company's blood pressure drug Diovan. Shiraishi is suspected of violating the country's pharma laws by providing false data to researchers, Tokyo prosecutors said in a statement.

Italy's move to fund unapproved use of Roche's Avastin alarms the industry

In the U.S. pushing drugs for unapproved uses has gotten companies into big trouble. In Italy, the opposite is now true. To save money, the government will pay for patients to be treated for an eye disease with Roche's Avastin, a drug not approved for that use, and has taken legal action against the Swiss drugmaker and marketing partner Novartis for steering physicians toward the pricier Lucentis, which is.

Court limits Canada's power over generic drug prices

A federal court in Canada has now agreed with the industry that the country's price setting board has assumed too much authority and severely curtailed its ability to control prices over generic drugs in a case centered on Novartis' generic drug company Sandoz, and a unit of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which started as Ratiopharm.

Novartis called out for undermining FDA's animal health rules

A health advocacy group has slammed Novartis for falsely advertising its swine antibiotic Denagard, claiming the drug company unnecessarily highlights weight gain in animals--a purpose not approved by the FDA.

Italian fraud squad raids drug agency in Roche-Novartis probe

Italian finance police searched the offices of the Italian Medicines Agency, looking for evidence in a criminal probe of potential fraud and market manipulation by the Swiss drugmakers Novartis and Roche. Officials have been investigating allegations that the two companies colluded to boost sales of Lucentis, their eye drug, by sidelining off-label use of the drug's close cousin, Avastin.

Science pays: 2013's 10 best-compensated R&D chiefs in biopharma

For an idea of what kind of year a drug developer had, take a look at what it paid its head of R&D. Click through our roundup for a look at who ranks where in the biopharma R&D world. Read more >>