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Novartis maintains FY'17 sales guidance at Sandoz despite US pricing pressure

Drug pricing pressure in the U.S. is expected to have a higher impact on second-quarter sales growth at Sandoz when compared to the first three months of the year.

Sandoz's sales will also be affected by the delayed launch of Glatopa, which is indicated for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.

The company's parent, Novartis AG, is maintaining the division's sales guidance and expects it to be in line with 2016. Sandoz generated $2.43 billion in first-quarter 2017 net sales; the business generated $10.14 billion in fiscal 2016 net revenues.

Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez said the Swiss drugmaker's next growth phase is expected to start in 2018 and would include Cosentyx, Entresto and Kisqali, as well as its generics and eye care divisions.

The pharmaceutical company is pursuing new indications for the commercialized drugs.

Cosentyx is approved for the treatment of psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Entresto is used to reduce the risk of death and hospitalization in people with certain types of long-lasting chronic heart failure. Kisqali is a treatment for advanced breast cancer.

Novartis said it expects 40 potential drug filings and the launch of five major biosimilars in the U.S. and the EU between 2017 and 2020.

The company noted that it is still "exploring all options" for its Alcon unit and anticipates the eye care business to return to "long-term, sustainable growth."

Novartis expects to provide an update on the strategic review of the unit toward the end of 2017.