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Swiss pharma Novartis sees drop in profits

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File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
11:30 CEST+02:00
Swiss drugmaker Novartis on Tuesday 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 five 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 copycat drugs for its blockbuster cancer drug Gleevec -- has eaten away some three percent of current profit margins, while price pressures have accounted for another two 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.

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