Novartis' number of full-time employees 2009-2019

Novartis is a multinational pharmaceutical company based out of Basel, Switzerland. In 2019, the company saw its greatest number of employees in recent history with 103,914 employees working for the company. This is an decrease from 2018 when the company had over 125,000 employees. Novartis, like many pharmaceutical companies has experienced significant growth in recent years.

Novartis’ company profile

As of 2019, Novartis had two company divisions: Innovative Medicines and Sandoz. Oncology is the most important therapeutic area generating almost 40 percent of the company’s pharmaceuticals revenue. Sandoz is the company’s generics and biosimilars pharmaceutical division with a global focus. Until April 2019, Alcon was Novartis' division specialized in eye care, but then became an own company. While the number of employees at Novartis has increased, the number of patients the company reaches every year has been on the decline. As well as a decrease in the number of patients reached, the company has also decreased their advertising spending in recent years.

Novartis’ global positioning

Novartis is ranked among the top pharmaceutical companies globally. Recently the company was ranked second based on their market capitalization. Other top companies included Johnson & Johnson and Roche. The company was also ranked third, after Pfizer and Roche, based on their prescription sales in recent years. Based on research and development spending as a share of revenue, Novartis was ranked seventh below AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly and Bristol-Myers Squibb, to name a few.

Total number of Novartis AG's full-time employees from 2009 to 2019*

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Release date

January 2020



Survey time period

2009 to 2019

Supplementary notes

* Own employees in continuing operations.
** With the 2015 Annual Report, figures back to 2011 were restated, as a result of a series of transactions during 2015.
*** During 2019, eye care division Alcon was spun off and became an own company. Thus, Alcon's employees are not included.

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