Greece to seek compensation from Novartis over bribery revelations

Greece to seek compensation from Novartis over bribery revelations

The Greek government will examine ways to secure financial compensation from Swiss drugmaker Novartis in connection with the bribery scandal for which the company settled out of court in the United States, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said on Friday.

Petsas said the government will seek advise from the State Legal Council but did not elaborate further on the plan.

In a press statement, the government spokesman also slammed the main opposition for “setting up a conspiracy to tarnish their political opponents,” by attempting to implicate former New Democracy and PASOK prime ministers and ministers in the Novartis scandal, “but did nothing to expose those who really harmed the Greek State.”

“No matter how silent [SYRIZA leader] Tsipras chooses to remain, those responsible for this conspiracy will be revealed,” he added.

The US Department of Justice said late Thursday that Novartis Hellas, a Greece-based unit of Novartis AG, will pay a $225 million criminal penalty and will enter a deferred prosecution agreement for bribing doctors, hospitals and clinics to prescribe the company drugs.

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. 

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