INDIA – Novartis India Limited has entered into an exclusive sales and distribution agreement with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories for a number of its established medicines, including the Voveran, Calcium, and Methergine lines.

The agreement, which aims to expand access to these medicines beyond current geographies in order to benefit more patients through an expanded field force, would, however, result in the separation of approximately 400 Novartis employees, according to a note from the multinational.

The parent company, Novartis, will retain trademark ownership of these medications, according to the company.

The agreement combines Novartis India’s manufacturing and development synergies with Dr Reddy’s sales and distribution strengths. Barring unforeseen circumstances, this has the potential to increase value for Novartis India shareholders, it added.

This strategic business decision is leading to the separation of approximately 400 employees of NIL due to role redundancies. We understand the implications of this difficult decision on those impacted and their loved ones and we are extending a severance package along with outplacement services,” the company said.

Sanjay Murdeshwar, Country President and Managing Director of Novartis in India, said, “Today, on one hand, keeping the patient interest at the center, we have entered this strategic business arrangement with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories to extend access to our established medicines to benefit more patients in India efficiently.

On the other hand, we understand the implication on the roles of our colleagues in Novartis India Limited and are doing our best to support them.”

On collaborations, Murdeshwar added, “We are committed to working with organizations that resonate with our purpose of improving and extending people’s lives.”

To that end, we collaborate with entities such as the government, patient organizations, start-ups, industry associations, healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies amongst others, who are working towards reducing barriers in the journey of a patient ranging from awareness, diagnosis, access and adherence.”

Novartis India said the strategic business decision is leading to the separation of around 400 employees due to role redundancies.

Expanding footprint

Novartis has a large presence in India, employing over 10,000 people full-time. Novartis has hired over 1,600 employees across divisions since January 2020, and companies in India plan to continue this hiring program in 2022, according to the company.

Over the last five years, Novartis has invested more than US$300 million in India to establish an R&D support center and services.

It is also in the process of expanding further by investing approximately US$49 million in establishing an additional manufacturing plant at Kalwe, which will manufacture oral cancer medicines for the global market, according to the company.

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