Novartis, former unit to pay $346 million to resolve US bribery charges


Novartis AG and a former unit will pay more than $346 million to resolve US criminal and civil charges they bribed doctors, hospitals and clinics to prescribe their drugs and use their surgical products, US authorities announced on Thursday.

The US Department of Justice said Novartis Hellas, a Greece-based unit, will pay a $225 million criminal penalty and entered a deferred prosecution agreement.

Authorities said Novartis Hellas conspired from 2012 to 2015 to bribe employees of state-owned hospitals and clinics in Greece to buy more Novartis-branded drugs including Lucentis, which treats a form of age-related vision loss.

Novartis said the settlements contain no allegations regarding any bribery of Greek politicians, consistent with its own internal findings. 

Alcon Pte, a former Novartis unit that is now part of Alcon AG, will pay an $8.9 million criminal penalty and entered its own deferred prosecution agreement.

Novartis will also pay $112.8 million to settle related civil charges by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. [Reuters]

For the full press release from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, click here