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Global Media Relations
Eric Althoff
Basel, Switzerland

+41 61 324 7999


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Reporting side effects

Report a suspected side effect (also known as an adverse event) related to a Novartis Pharmaceutical drug or a Novartis Vaccine.

Reporting side effects

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Patents and medical progress

To continue to provide patients with safe and effective new treatment options, we believe every society has a responsibility to support research and development. Nations with international rights and obligations share this responsibility. Novartis contributes to medical progress through innovative drug research that targets diseases currently without adequate treatment options.

Patents are vital to the ability of innovative companies like Novartis to invest in high-risk research to advance breakthrough treatments for patients without treatment options or hope.

  • Fiction
  • Fact
The purpose of patents is to protect pharmaceutical company profits for about 20 years.
Patents exist in all industries to foster innovation by supporting long-term investment in research and development. In the case of drug development, patent protection can begin 10 years before a medicine's launch, leaving only a limited period of time to regain the investment.
Enhancing access to medications is solely about affordability. Generics solve the access challenge and enable patients to afford the medications they need.
Generics alone do not guarantee access to medications. 98% of the World Health Organization's (WHO) essential drugs are available at off-patent prices, yet more than a third of the world population still lacks access due to political, economic and logistical barriers1,2,3. Without patents there will be few new medicines and without new medicines there will be no new generics.
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Video Library


  1. Lybecker, Kristina. "The Economics of Access to Medicines: Meeting the Challenges of Pharmaceutical Patents, Innovation, and Access for Global Health." Harvard International Law Journal. Presented December 2011. Available at: . Accessed December 2012.
  2. World Health Organization. "The World Medicines Situation 2011 - Access to Essential Medicines as Part of the Right to Health." Available at: . Accessed December 2012.
  3. World Health Organization. "WHO's new Model Formulary - promoting consumer rights and patient safety." Available at: . Accessed December 2012.
  4. Hirschler, Ben. "Drug pipelines improving after years in doldrums," Reuters. Published June 26 2012. Available at: . Accessed December 2012.
  5. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). "Drug Discovery And Development." Available at: . Accessed December 2012.
  6. Bloom, J. Making the Case for Longer Pharmaceutical Patent Protection. 26 Jan 2012. Available at: . Accessed December 2012.