Health News

Novartis CEO sees tougher U.S. drug pricing over next three-five years

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

ZURICH (Reuters) - Novartis NOVN.S expects a more difficult pricing environment for drugs in the United States in the years ahead, its chief executive told a results conference call on Tuesday.

“We expect pricing to become more difficult in the U.S. over the next three to five years,” Joe Jimenez said.

Both major U.S. presidential candidates have cited concern about drug pricing.

Swiss rival Roche's ROG.S Chief Executive Severin Schwan had said last week he did not see a "fundamental change" in U.S. price pressure after the Nov. 8 presidential election, regardless of which candidate wins.

Jimenez also said Novartis was on track to reach $1 billion sales in biosimilars this year. He said Novartis would focus on bolt-on acquisitions and a larger deal would be considered only if it was “very attractive” to Novartis, he said.

Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz and Paul Arnold; Editing by Michael Shields