Swiss drugmaker Novartis yesterday posted a drop in first half profits amid fierce competition for generic medicines and pricing pressures but said it was set to reach annual targets.
January-June net core income dropped 5 percent to $3.6 billion (3.1 billion euros), as overall first half sales dipped one percent to $23.7 billion, despite a six percent rise in volume, the group said. Those volumes were buoyed by two medicines deemed to have strong potential - heart drug Entresto and Cosentyx, a treatment for psoriasis. Stiff competition for generic medicine -- not least copy cat drugs for its blockbuster cancer drug Gleevec - has eaten away some 3 percent of current profit margins, while price pressures have accounted for another 2 percent.
For the outlook for the year as a whole Novartis reconfirmed its objectives in saying it expected global sales this year to hit similar levels to 2016. In January, the group announced total sales of $48.5 billion for 2016.