As the US pharmaceuticals unit of Swiss drug giant Novartis AG, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NPC) helps with the development, manufacturing, marketing, and sales of its parent company's products in the US. Its product lines address a range of ailments including cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, central nervous system disorders, cancers, bone and skin conditions, infectious diseases, and organ transplant complications. NPC's key products include tumor growth inhibitor Gleevec, high blood pressure drug Diovan, and attention deficit disorder therapies Focalin and Ritalin. NPC markets its products through an in-house sales team.
NPC represents the best of both worlds for parent Novartis AG: It is part of the global Novartis Pharmaceuticals division, which accounts for some 55% of annual revenues, and it is also a major player in the US market, which is Novartis' largest geographic segment accounting for about a third of sales.
The company widens its offerings in the US market through a number of methods including internal research programs, licensing agreements, and acquisitions. In 2012 NPC introduced Hecoria, which is used to prevent liver or kidney rejection in transplant patients, and Arcapta Neohaler for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Most of Novartis Pharmaceuticals' preclinical research efforts are conducted through US-based affiliate Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR), while clinical-stage development programs are conducted at Novartis sites around the globe. A new division, Novartis Molecular Diagnostics, was formed in 2008 under the Novartis Pharmaceuticals organization to conduct efforts towards the development of personalized medicine, or drugs that targets patients with a specific genetic makeup.
Sometimes the unit has to handle the less-positive aspects of Novartis' activities in the US market. In 2010, NPC settled two lawsuits. In one, the firm agreed to pay up to $153 million to settle alleged gender discrimination claims (though it denied systemic discrimination practices). In the other, NPC agreed to pay some $423 million to the US government to resolve allegations that it improperly marketed Trileptal and several other products in the US market prior to 2005; it also pled guilty to one misdemeanor violation on the misbranding of Trileptal.