Novartis is one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies. Novartis uses its power and legal muscle to enforce neoliberal intellectual property/patent regimes, maximizing its profits by denying peoples in Global South nations affordable access to life-saving and life-improving medicines. Novartis also contributes to the displacement of working class residents from Cambridge, MA.
Novartis fights to preserve the power of Western pharmaceutical multinationals to maintain high prices that maximize corporate profits, while undertaking legal fights against attempts by Global South nations to produce medications generically in order to make them accessible to their peoples (a process some analysts have termed "medical apartheid"). As one example, in 2013 Novartis undertook a 7-year long legal challenge of India's patent laws, fighting in the nation's court system to maintain the price of a one months supply of a the life-saving cancer drug Gleevec at INR 150,000 (~USD $2,200 ), a price far out of reach for most people in a country with a per capita income of INR 126,000 (~USD $1,688.05).
Novartis leases multiple buildings from MIT in Cambridge MA. By gobbling up Cambridge real estate and moving its generally wealthier workforce into the city, Novartis (along with other university, biomedical, and tech giants) contributes to the ongoing rise of housing, rental, and general living costs in Cambridge and the Boston area broadly (see figure below), which is leaving long-time working class residents increasingly unable to afford remain in the communities they have called home for years if not decades.
(Image source: here)
As of 2020, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (of which the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute is the biomedical research wing) held corporate stocks and bonds in Novartis, along with a number of other major drug companies. Additionally, the current CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute Penny Heaton previously worked as Global Head of Clinical Research and Development Clusters at Novartis.
Novartis and Harvard announced in 2018 that they would be teaming up to develop "biomaterial systems to deliver immunotherapies."
MGH maintains relationships and partnerships with numerous big pharmaceutical companies, including Novartis.
Novartis has been a "member company" (a sponsor) of the MIT Media Lab.
Novartis leases buildings from MIT in Cambridge MA.