Novartis strikes back at production woes with new management

Novartis ($NVS) doesn't want recent manufacturing snafus to be an ongoing blot on its reputation. So, as Pharmalot reports, the company is shuffling management and setting up a new top-level quality control team.

Just yesterday, Novartis reported that its manufacturing problems in Lincoln, NE--and the ensuing recalls and supply slowdowns--cut significantly into consumer drug sales. And as Pharmalot points out, the company has not only drawn FDA scrutiny in Nebraska. The agency warned Novartis' generics division, Sandoz, about violations at two other U.S. plants and a third in Quebec. The latter, in fact, has since suffered production slowdowns of its own, triggering drug shortages in Canada.

Already, OTC chief Naomi Kelman was replaced by Brian McNamara. Now, Novartis has brought in Thorsten Hartig to run U.S. manufacturing at the OTC business, Pharmalot reports, citing an internal memo. Rick Lloyd becomes regional chief for OTC for the Americas. Higher up, Didier Colombeen was tapped as head of global manufacturing and supply, replacing Cath Malseed, who left to pursue other opportunities.

And then there's Ivan Moller, just named as head of GMP manufacturing and quality program management last month. Now, he'll lead a group-level effort overseeing manufacturing remediation efforts companywide--presumably, that would include the consumer and generics businesses--and press for quality compliance.

- read the Pharmalot piece