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Novartis slashes 1,400 jobs in US

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis will cut 1,400 sales jobs in the United States by January 1, 2011, it has been announced.

The company said it would cut the jobs in its general medicines business, as sales at that business will be hurt after the patent on its high blood pressure drug Diovan expires.

Novartis said it planned to focus more resources on its primary care and speciality care businesses.

The company expects to take $85 million (SFr85.2 million) in one-time charges associated with the job cuts. It did not say how much money it expects to save.

The marketing exclusivity on Diovan expired on Monday and the patents protecting Diovan and related products start to expire in March 2012.

Novartis said it has 6,449 employees in its US general medicines business. It has 18,519 employees in the US and about 100,000 worldwide. Novartis' s US operations are based in East Hanover, New Jersey. and agencies

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