The decision is part of a restructuring plan unveiled by the Swiss pharma giant that it said aims to eliminate mostly support positions at its headquarters and operations functions in pharmaceutical development.
The company said it also plans to create “several hundred” new positions without giving precise figures.
But it said overall employment at its Swiss division would remain stable at around 15,000 after five years of continuous growth.
The company said the job reductions were necessary to guarantee the “necessary resources” for the launch of products this year, including brand name and generic medicine for respiratory illness, lung cancer, dermatology and heart disease.
The new positions to support these products, plus other areas of the company’s operations, would be created in oncology development, over-the-counter (OTC) drug production and management of the “Sandoz supply chain”.
The company said a third OTC production shift would be added to its operations in Nyon.
Novartis noted that it created 750 jobs in Switzerland last year, five percent more than in 2012.
It said the majority of the 4,000 positions created since 2005 have been in the Basel region.
While only one percent of Novartis’s sales are in Switzerland, 12 percent of its workforce is based in the country.
The company employs around 133,000 people worldwide and reported global sales of $56.7 billion in 2012.