ZURICH Jan 22 Novartis plans to axe
around 500 jobs in shutting a U.S. plant that makes its blood
pressure pill Diovan, marking the second reorganisation of its
operations in as many days.
The decision to close the manufacturing site in Suffern, New
York will affect 525 jobs, the company said in an emailed
statement on Wednesday. Some functions may be transferred to
other sites, it said.
The Basel-based firm attributed the closure to declining
sales of Diovan, a best-selling drug that lost its patent rights
in the United States in 2012, making it vulnerable to
competition from cheaper, copycat drugs.
"Changes in our current portfolio, namely the loss of
exclusivity of Diovan, have significantly reduced the future
production demand on the Suffern site," Novartis said.
"Consequently the site's future volumes would be
significantly below the minimum required to operate it cost
Novartis said it would start shutting down the site in the
second quarter of this year but the whole process would take two
to three years to complete.
Under new chairman Joerg Reinhardt Novartis is taking a
fresh look at its operations as it seeks to maximise
The closure comes on the heels of Tuesday's announcement
that Novartis will reorganise parts of its domestic workforce,
cutting up to 500 jobs in its pharmaceutical division to free
resources for new roles to support the product launches.