October 19, 2017 / 9:49 AM / 2 years ago

Novartis to shut U.S. generics plant, cut 450 jobs

FILE PHOTO - A Novartis logo is pictured on its headquarters building in Mumbai April 1, 2013. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Novartis is to cut 450 jobs in the United States over the next two years as it gradually shuts a generics manufacturing plant in Colorado and discontinues some products in the face of intense price pressures.

“To remain competitive in the U.S., Novartis will discontinue or divest limited growth products in saturated markets,” a company spokesman said on Thursday.

“The products that are being discontinued are oral generics that treat a variety of conditions in cardiology, central nervous system, endocrinology, respiratory and pain.”

The shutdown of Novartis’s Sandoz division plant in the Denver suburb of Broomfield was originally reported by the Denver Post. The phased closure and transfer of some operations to a Sandoz facility in North Carolina is due to be completed in late 2019.

Second-quarter sales in the Sandoz division slipped 5 percent to $2.5 billion, which Novartis said in July was mainly due to pricing pressures in the U.S. retail market for generic drugs.

However, Chairman Joerg Reinhardt has said the unit remains a core business as it builds up its portfolio of complex biosimilar copies of other companies’ name-brand drugs that Novartis expects will eventually help mitigate price pressure.

Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Greg Mahlich

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