Novartis gets short reprieve on drug patent loss
NOVARTIS, which employs about 1,200 people in Ireland, has improved its financial outlook for 2013 following a delay in its competitors' attempts to produce its best-selling blood pressure pill, granting the Swiss drugmaker a temporary reprieve from patent losses.
Novartis, the world's second-biggest drug maker, lost its patent rights on Diovan in the US last year and is now facing competition from a copycat version from Ranbaxy Laboratories. But that company has so far failed to get a green light in the US.
"This is good news, but only short term, as the sales impact is merely delayed into 2014," said Sarasin analyst David Kaegi.