BASEL -(Dow Jones)- Novartis AG (NVS) Chief Executive Joe Jimenez said Thursday he remains optimistic about the company's outlook for 2011 despite the Swiss drug giant losing two patents this year.
"With the outlook that we gave, growth in pharma despite the loss of two patents, it's going to be a good year for Novartis. I am optimistic," he told Dow Jones Newswires after the company released its fourth-quarter report.
Novartis will lose the patents of its heart drug Diovan and cancer drug Femara in 2011. Despite these losses--both drugs together had reached more than $7 billion in sales in 2010--the company said it aims at reaching "low-to mid-single digit growth" in its core pharma division.
Novartis earlier Thursday reported a 2% drop in fourth quarter net profit. Jimenez said that the drop was partly due to costs related to restructurings of its U.S. sales force and at its generics unit Sandoz in Germany.
He said the company would continue to cut costs. But rather than introduce one big program, Novartis would look at its cost on a case by case basis, said Jimenez.
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