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How I Did It: Lessons from the Front Lines of Business by Daniel McGinn, Harvard Business Review

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Novartis’s CEO on Growing After a Patent Cliff

by Joseph Jimenez

Joseph Jimenez is the CEO of Novartis AG.

The Idea

When blockbuster drugs give way to generics, pharmaceutical companies like Novartis must find new ways to grow.

For more than a decade, the top-selling Novartis product has been a drug called Diovan. It’s an anti-hypertensive, which means that it treats high blood pressure, and patients who need it take the medicine every day. Scientists inside our company spent many years developing Diovan, and it has been tested on thousands of patients in clinical trials. Altogether Novartis spent well over a billion dollars on development and received a patent to sell Diovan exclusively for 14 years. When I joined Novartis, in 2007, our entire ...

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