Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis said on Tuesday that its sales in China increased by double digits last year and planned to double its activities in China by 2024 compared to sales in 2019.
“China is a top priority for Novartis,” Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan said in an interview with Media. “As part of our strategic planning, we believe China will become the second-largest drug market for Novartis in the world. Our goal is to double our business in China by 2024 to more than $ 4 billion in revenue. business, ”he added.
“This is due both to the growth of our portfolio of innovative drugs, pharmaceuticals, and our oncology portfolio,” he said.
Novartis is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world and headquartered in Basel, Switzerland.
“Looking ahead, we expect multiple new drug approvals across the range of the Novartis portfolio. The top priority is to reach more Chinese patients with our drugs, to continue to invest in China for the long term,” Mr. Narasimhan said.
The Swiss company released its annual results on Tuesday, showing that net sales from continuing operations rose 3%.
“We were very satisfied with 2020 given the impact of the pandemic on health systems … It shows the resilience of our organization,” he insisted.
In the fourth quarter, Novartis reported a net profit of US $ 2.1 billion, compared to the US $ 1.1 billion in the same period a year earlier, while sales increased to the US $ 12.8 billion, compared to the US $ 12.4 billion a year earlier.
The main growth drivers came from emerging markets in the fourth quarter of last year, explained Novartis, where overall sales rose 4% at constant currencies, driven by strong growth in China where sales jumped by 14%, to 659 million US dollars.
“From 2021, we assumed that healthcare systems would continue to experience a disruption in the first half of the year. But then start to return to normal again in the first part of the third quarter,” Narasimhan told Media
While Novartis sold its vaccines business to GlaxoSmithKline in 2015 and no longer produces vaccines itself, Mr. Narasimhan stressed that the company was able to participate in a number of healthcare sector initiatives to promote the equitable access of COVID-19 vaccines to low-income countries.
COVAX, a global initiative led by the World Health Organization (WHO), is currently working with vaccine manufacturers to provide countries around the world with equitable access to safe and effective vaccines.
“I recognize that we have not yet done enough to ensure that low- and middle-income countries have access to these vaccines and drugs,” admitted Narasimhan.
“I hope that as manufacturing expands and these technologies have better data in the second half of this year, vaccines and pharmaceuticals will become more widely available,” he added.