Novartis will cut 1,400 jobs in the U.S. as part of a restructuring effort to streamline its business and to focus on specialty medicines. The job cuts will be in effect as of Jan. 1, 2011 and the restructuring is expected to cost approximately $85 million.
Novartis is looking to move away from mass-market medicines as it faces key patent expiries. Diovan, the company’s top selling hypertension drug, faces generic competition in Europe next year and in 2012 in the U.S. The company is shifting its focus to specialty drugs for future growth, such as Gilenya, which was recently approved in the U.S. as the first oral treatment for multiple sclerosis.
"Given these changing dynamics within the portfolio, it is critical to realign the general medicines field force to sharpen focus on the greatest opportunities for growth," said a Novartis spokesperson.