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Novartis will not raise US drug prices this year



Novartis AG will not increase its US drug prices for the remainder of 2018, said Swiss-based pharmaceutical companies on Wednesday, just days after Pfizer Inc. had taken a similar step following President Donald Trump's criticism.

Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan said the company will evaluate its strategy for 2019 if it has more clarity about the price environment.

"Let's see how that develops for the rest of this year," he said.

Last week, Pfizer said it would postpone some recent drug price increases and reversed course after Mr. Trump criticized the company for its plans to raise prices of more than 40 drugs ,

The Novartis-Cohen Connection

Novartis decided last month to raise prices previously planned for the third quarter.

Mr. Narasimhan did not speak directly with Mr. Trump about the pricing, but the company said it was in contact with the US Department of Health in the context of the government's proposal to stop drug pricing in May. [1

9659003] Comments on prices came as Novartis reported an increase in sales and earnings in the second quarter. Novartis also reaffirmed its outlook for 2018 and reiterated that the Michael Cohen affair was considered after weeks of turbulence in which the company had investigated its ties to Trump's former personal attorney.

Novartis' $ 1.2 million consultancy agreement and Mr. Cohen's company, Essential Consultants LLC, came to light in May. At the time, the company said the deal was a mistake.

"I consider the Cohen problem closed," Narasimhan said Wednesday.

Novartis said net sales had risen from $ 12.2 billion to $ 13.2 billion quarter, underpinned mainly by drugs Cosentyx and Entresto. The oncology division saw growth over the year following the loss of exclusivity for its blockbuster drug Gleevec / Glivec.

Net income increased from $ 2 billion to $ 7.8 billion, benefiting from a net gain of $ 5.7 billion from the sale of its stake in a consumer health joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline PLC , Novartis Expects Group Sales to Grow in the Low to Mid-Single-Digit Range This Year

In May, Novartis said that she was giving Mr. Cohen an insight into the question, "How could the Trump administration address US health policy?" Matters, "but that executives realized from their first meeting with him in March 2017 that he would not be helpful and stopped dealing with him.

A report by four Democratic senators last Friday denied much of the company's interaction Www.mjfriendship.de/de/index.php?op…ew&id=6 # 1991 Novartis had downplayed its ties to Mr Cohen, and that contact would have taken six months longer than originally claimed

Narasimhan said on Wednesday. he has received no further requests from political or legal authorities for further information on this matter.

Last Friday, Novartis stated that he disagreed with the Senate's conclusion and reiterated that the agreement with Mr. Cohen had been received Mistake.

The investigation comes as Novartis seeks to realign its operations and plans to launch the Alcon Ophthalmology department, which analysts estimate could cost more than $ 20 billion. Earlier this month, the company also said it would give up on antiviral and antibiotic research.

Write to Brian Blackstone at brian.blackstone@wsj.com


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