July 18, 2018 / 6:09 AM / 3 months ago

BRIEF-Novartis CEO says expects to be at top end of 2018 guidance

July 18 (Reuters) - Novartis AG:

* CEO SAYS EXPECTS TO BE AT HIGH END OF GUIDANCE RANGE FOR 2018

* CEO SAYS STILL CONSIDERING OPTIONS FOR SANDOZ UNIT

* CEO SAYS NET PRICING IS FLAT TO DECLINING OVER PORTFOLIO IN UNITED STATES, PLANS TO CONTINUE USING VALUE BASED PRICING

* CEO SAYS DOES NOT PLAN TO TAKE FURTHER PRICE INCREASES IN U.S. FOR 2018

* CEO SAYS VIEWS IT AS PRUDENT COURSE TO NOT TAKE ANY PRICE INCREASES IN THE U.S. THIS YEAR GIVEN DYNAMIC ENVIRONMENT

* CEO SAYS NO LONGER FACES ANY INQUIRIES INTO COHEN CONTRACT INSIDE, OUTSIDE UNITED STATES

* CEO SAYS UNDERLYING DEMAND, VOLUME GROWTH ARE DRIVING RISE IN COSENTYX SALES

* CEO SAYS DOES NOT VIEW TRADE TENSIONS AS FUNDAMENTALLY IMPACTING NOVARTIS BUSINESS, EVALUATED SUPPLY CHAINS AND CONCLUDED CAN MANAGE DISPUTES, SEES ISSUE AS MORE OF A MACRO ECONOMIC RISK Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Reporting by John Miller)

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