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Layoffs Continue to Mount

NOVARTIS

Novartis (NOVN) is cutting 1,960 jobs in the U.S. The announcement comes as the company anticipates losing patent exclusivity on the drug Diovan in September 2012. The cost cutting measure also follows disappointing trials of Tekturna, another hypertension medication made by Novartis.

The company terminated trials of Tekturna after the pill caused complications for diabetes patients. Analysts say that growth will likely struggle in light of the charges the company is taking on Tekturna and generic competition for Diovan.

Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis has been cutting expenses since Joe Jimenez became chief executive officer in February 2010. The latest layoffs are the third time Novartis has announced job cuts in the past 14 months. The company announced 1,400 layoffs in November 2010 and 200 more in October 2011.

Of the 1,960 job cuts planned for the current year, 1,630 will be from the company's sales division. The reductions will save the company an estimated $450 million by 2013.

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