Novartis was also in the news for the recall of several over the counter drugs in the last week and has closed one factory in the US until corrections are made.

Novartis Recalls of Excedrin and Other Over The Counter Drugs May Be Mixed Up Wit Opioid Pain Killers–So Where Are the Bar Codes to Help Consumers Find the Products?

The changes in restructuring and layoffs are slated to begin in the second quarter of this year, not that far away.  There was also a clinical trial that failed to prove it was lowering blood pressure as patients who took the medication actually did worse so it appears that drug in it’s current formulation is not going to offer any relief in the immediate future.  BD 

ZURICH (Reuters) - Novartis AG is cutting nearly 2,000 jobs in the United States ahead of the patent loss of top-selling blood pressure drug Diovan as it braces for tough market conditions and a slump in sales of another key drug.

Novartis is the latest in a long line of global drugmakers to cut their sales forces as the industry faces its biggest wave of patent expiries in its history.

The group will book a one-off charge of $900 million in the fourth quarter after a clinical trial showed patients taking its blood pressure pill Rasilez actually did worse, meaning sales of the treatment, previously tipped to rake in sales of more than $1 billion, are likely to plunge.

The Swiss drugmaker is currently in talks with regulatory authorities on both sides of the Atlantic about whether this drug, once seen as a Diovan successor, could end up being pulled from the market, a spokesman said on Friday.

The Basel-based group has already cut thousands of jobs and shut several sites, notably in Britain. It has also shifted its focus to specialty medicines in a bid to boost profitability and protect its bottom line.


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