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Shrinking Pharma? Novartis chief hints at job cuts in Switzerland

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There are about 43,000 jobs in the pharmaceutical industry in Switzerland

(Keystone)

The president of pharmaceutical giant Novartis has announced job cuts in an interview with Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag.

Jörg Reinhardt said the Basel-based company wants to streamline its production sites and administration worldwide.

"This will affect various plants globally and will also have an impact on Switzerland," Reinhardt was quoted as saying in the Sunday edition of the newspaper.

The impact will be felt not only at company headquarters in Basel but also probably in the Aargau plant in Stein, where 2,000 employees still produce many medicines using traditional methods, according to the newspaper.

Reinhardt justified the cost reduction plans citing the drop in net prices in the United States over the past year.

He said prices would be “one to two percent” lower than in the previous year due to discounts granted to major buyers.

Since the pharmaceutical industry generates on average half of its profits in the US, this decline is significant.

"We are preparing for something to happen in the US price system in the medium term that will have an impact on the entire pharmaceutical industry," Reinhardt said.

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