In its Q4 and 2012 results today, Novartis (NYSE:NVS) announced that net sales grew 2% year-over-year on a constant currency basis to $14.8 billion during the quarter, while net income advanced 5% to $3.1 billion ($1.27 per share). For the full year, those numbers were slightly down from 2011 at $56.6 billion and 12.8 billion ($5.25), respectively.

The company also said it has received FDA approval for its Exjade. The drug treats certain patients afflicted with chronic iron overload by removing excess iron in the body, a condition that can arise from a series of blood transfusions. The FDA's nod comes on the heels of a similar approval from the European Commission.

Novartis also announced that Chairman Daniel Vasella is to leave the company in February. He had worked at Novartis for 25 years.

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