The financial turmoil roiling the globe has not had a negative impact on the drugmaker, according to ceo Dan Vasella. "Until now, we have seen no slowdown in demand," he told the Swiss newspaperTages-Anzeiger. "And we have not speculated and consciously did not, as others did, invest heavily in derivatives. That means we earned less, but now also lost nothing."
Perhaps something was lost in the translation. Novartis has actually insisted for months that things have been slowing. Late last year, the drugmaker vowed to eliminate 2,500 jobs in order to save $1.6 billion by 2010 in response to the usual malaise - pipeline issues, patent expirations and assorted safety and regulatory setbacks (back story). The lastest manifestation - just last month, 550 sales jobs were targeted (look here).