Today, Novartis is divided into three segments: Pharmaceuticals (now called Innovative Medicines), Alcon, and Sandoz. The Pharmaceuticals segment is responsible for the largest part of the total revenue – around 35 billion U.S. dollars. From a regional point of view, Novartis generates the overwhelming part of its revenue in the United States and in Europe. In 2018, about 19.1 billion U.S. dollars were generated in Europe and some 17.6 billion dollars in the United States. Among Novartis’ top products are immunomodulating drug Gilenya and ophthalmic drug Lucentis. It is estimated that Novartis reaches over 800 million people worldwide through its products.
More than nine billion U.S. dollars – almost 18 percent of Novartis’ total revenue – was spent on research and development in 2018. R&D is a major issue for the top pharmaceutical companies because patent expiration can lead to massive revenue losses. Thus, only new medicines with at least a few years of exclusivity can ensure progress and profit. At Novartis, such growth products made up more than one third of its total revenues.