With its Head Quarters in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis International AG is a multinational corporation ranked as one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies. Created by the 1996 merger of Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy, this healthcare giant is listed on both the Swiss Exchange (NOVN) and the New York Stock Exchange (NVS), and has many groundbreaking brands to its name in over-the-counter consumer health products, pharmaceuticals, vaccines and veterinary products. Novartis also owns Ciba Vision, a contact lens and lens care products developer, and Sandoz, a generic medicines producer.
Novartis is an active member of EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations) a trade union representing up to 2,200 research-oriented pharmaceutical companies operating in Europe. The company is also involved with research projects which are publicly funded, and collaborate with other academic and industrial partners, many of which fall within the framework of EFPIA’s Innovative Medicines Initiative.
The Novartis Group of companies employs around 96,700 people in 140 countries, with nearly 25 percent being based in the United States with its US headquarters located in New Jersey. Taking its name from the Latin words for “new skills”, Novartis strives to develop new products to improve health and quality of life. With its R&D programs designed to meet the healthcare needs of even rare (and therefore not necessarily lucrative) diseases, Novartis is constantly keeping a step ahead in a world that has become a global village, presenting challenging and evolving diseases and medical problems.
From an investment point of view, the healthcare sector provides an essential service fulfilling the ongoing, and growing, need for medical care and innovative pharmaceutical products, and Novartis is right up there with the best of the best.