Novartis (NYSE:NVS) is one of the globe's biggest drug companies. The company generates more than $58 billion in annual sales and is often included in dividend investors' portfolios.

Novartis has a solid track record of dividend increases over the past decade; however, investors are right to wonder whether patent expiration on its top-selling blockbuster drug Diovan may threaten Novartis' ability to boost dividends in the future.

In the following slideshow you'll learn whether I think Novartis' dividend is safe and see how Novartis' dividend matches up to peers GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK), Novartis' partner in a new consumer goods joint ventures, and Sanofi (NYSE:SNY), a company that competes with Novartis top selling MS drug Gilenya.

Todd Campbell has no position in any stocks mentioned. Todd owns E.B.Capital Markets, LLC. E.B. Capital's clients may or may not have positions in the companies mentioned. Todd owns Gundalow Advisors, LLC. Gundalow's clients do not have positions in the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.