Novartis agrees to pay more than$ 642 Million to end lawsuits

Novartis accepte de payer plus de 642 M$ pour mettre fin à des poursuites

WASHINGTON | Novartis agreed to pay more than$ 642 Million to end lawsuits brought by the american justice, which accused the group swiss pharmaceutical paid large kickbacks to doctors, said Wednesday the u.s. department of Justice.

The first-of-court settlement, reached between the group and the justice, focuses on the fact that Novartis has supported the third-party payer of patients taking two of its drugs, Gilenya and Afinitor, by means of three foundations.

The second agreement relates to the accusation brought against the company to have paid kickbacks to doctors.

“Through this settlement agreement and others, the government is demonstrating its commitment to ensure that pharmaceutical companies do not make use of kickbacks to influence doctors and patients to prescribe and buy some drugs,” said Jody Hunt, deputy minister of Justice, quoted in the press release.

It is to put an end to the pane on the bottom-of-table that Novartis agrees to pay more than$591 Million.

In this case, the group is accused of having spent hundreds of millions of dollars to tens of thousands of programs, conferences, which, according to the american justice, were in fact disguised tools “to pay bribes” to doctors.

Thus, the department explains that Novartis often chose doctors who prescribe already of substantial quantities of its drugs as speakers in exchange of a fee in order to encourage them to prescribe more or, at the very least, as much.

Visitors medical had then the task of getting pressure on these speakers.

“For more than a decade, Novartis has paid hundreds of millions of dollars for so-called conferences, including speakers’ fees, meals, extravagant parties and fine spirits that were something other than bribes to encourage doctors across the country prescribe drugs Novartis”, has accused the chief federal prosecutor for the southern district of New york acting, Audrey Strauss.

Methods that have often been denounced for the entire pharmaceutical industry.

According to the american justice, to this vast enterprise of corruption was “the fruit of decisions taken at the highest level of management at the headquarters of Novartis North America, in New Jersey,” underlines the press release.

The prosecution in this case were incurred after a complaint in 2011 from a whistleblower, Oswald Bilotta, who “shall receive a reward, the amount of which remains to be determined”, said the release.

As part of the settlement, Novartis entered into an agreement of good behaviour for a period of 5 years under the auspices of the federal ministry of Health.

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