Swiss drugmaker Novartis cut 2,500 jobs at sites across the world in a bid to control costs, the daily Tages Anzeiger reported on Saturday.

Like many pharmaceutical companies, Novartis is starting to face generic competition, with its breast cancer drug Femara and its blood pressure medicine Diovan losing patent protection.

A spokesman for Novartis said the firm could not confirm that number.

Novartis's local rival Roche has announced it would cut several thousand jobs in a cost-saving drive.

(Reporting by Catherine Bosley; Editing by John Stonestreet)

(Corrects headline and first paragraph to say job cuts have already been made)