Oct. 22 - Swiss drug maker Novartis raises its full-year outlook for a second consecutive quarter, due to the ongoing absence of generic competition to its best-selling blood pressure pill, Diovan. Hayley Platt reports.
$2.3 billion dollars is today's daily digit - that's the reduced estimate Novartis expects as the impact from losing its U.S. patent for Diovan last year. It had previously forecast $2.7 billion as the hit for the best-selling blood pressure drug. But so far it's been spared the full blow of the patent loss as U.S. regulators are yet to approve another generic copycat version of Diovan by a bigger competitor. It's the second consecutive quarter Europe's biggest drugmaker has lifted its full-year outlook. Underlying sales rose 4 percent, in line with expectations. Sales of its drugs in emerging markets, such as China and Russia, also did well. Overall, it expects full-year sales to grow at a low to mid-single digit rate. And the company expects volatile foreign exchange rates to shave around 2 percent off full-year sales and 6 percent off core operating profit.