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Days After Resolving A $25 Million FCPA Enforcement Action, Novartis Again The Subject Of FCPA Scrutiny

Last week Novartis agreed to pay $25 million to resolve an SEC Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action concerning alleged conduct in China. (See here [1] and here [2] for prior posts).

According to this Reuters report [3]:

“An anonymous whistleblower has accused Swiss drugmaker Novartis of paying bribes in Turkey through a consulting firm to secure business advantages worth an estimated $85 million, according to a Feb. 17 email seen by Reuters.

The alleged benefits, which Novartis confirmed it was investigating, included getting medicines added to lists, or formularies, of drugs approved for prescription in government-run hospitals, and avoiding price cuts in other countries by securing government approval to change the names of two drugs.

The anonymous sender’s 5,000-word email to Novartis Chief Executive Joe Jimenez and Srikant Datar, chairman of its audit and compliance committee, said Novartis had paid Alp Aydin Consultancy the equivalent of $290,000 plus costs during 2013 and 2014, before the Turkish Social Security Institution (SSI) launched an investigation, leading the drugmaker to end the association.

[…]

[Novartis] also said it was investigating the allegations Aydin had passed on funds to Turkish healthcare officials, and that Novartis Turkey had hired relatives of high-prescribing doctors.”