Novartis profit slips as key drug goes generic

FRANKFURT – Swiss drug company Novartis saw net profit slip in the third quarter as the loss of a key drug to generic use in the United States outweighed strong sales of its psoriasis drug Cosentyx and MS treatment Gilenya.

Core net income fell 2 per cent to $2.94 billion from $2.99 billion in the previous-year quarter. The loss of Gleevec, used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia, to generic use hurt sales revenue.

Gilenya, a medicine for relapsing multiple sclerosis, brought in $790 million, an increase of 15 per cent.

The company said that Cosentyx, with $301 million in sales, was “on track for blockbuster status” in its first full year after approval.