After an hour of negotiations, the man broke down and with tears in his eyes he told the policemen that he would not allow to bear the burden for all the mistakes of his employer. He said that he was fearing for his life.
According to media, the 44-year-old is a former high-ranking manager of multinational pharma giant Novartis, target of investigation by the FBI and the US-Justice.
The Greek manager had been recently relocated from Greece to the company’s headquarters in Basel, Switzerland.
Three weeks ago, Greek Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis sent to Supreme Court prosecutor media reports according to which a big pharma company bribed doctors and public officials in order to boost prescriptions and the companies sales. The prosecutor should investigate media reports that two executives of Novartis in Greece had told US authorities that “the company used unfair methods to improve the company’s position in the Greek market for many years.”
The case was revealed by news website iefimerida.gr on December 12th 2016.
According to the website, the two executives had given the relevant testimony to the US Securities and Exchange Commission investigating the pharma company last August.
According to NewsIt.gr, the name of the man was included in the list the whistle-blowers have given to US authorities. (Ver)
Whistle-blowers/ BIG PHARMA: "El enemigo esta adentro..."
Greek authorities have also requested the assistance of U.S. authorities which, along with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) first launched an investigation into the drug maker two years ago. According to the reports, two executives of Novartis in Greece had submitted to U.S. authorities hundreds of documents which prove payments to private doctors and doctors who work in the public healthcare system (more than 4,000 in total), in an effort to promote the company’s products.
The prosecution requested that U.S. authorities share any data pertaining to the Greek part of the scandal.
State broadcaster ERT TV reported on Wednesday morning that agents from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation have arrived in Athens in order to investigate Novartis together with Greek authorities.
More than 178 people have been questioned on alleged illegal discounts offered by Novartis from 2006 to 2014 to some 4,000 public and private doctors in order to prescribe certain drugs and boost company sales. (Más)
Greek prosecutors raid Novartis offices, disclose wide-ranging probe into bribery allegations
Greece’s investigation follows a similar probe launched in South Korea last February and corruption allegations leveled by a Turkish whistleblower in March. In August, South Korean prosecutors indicted a half-dozen Novartis executives for issuing improper rebates to local doctors.
Also last year, Novartis agreed to pay $25 million to settle an SEC investigation into bribery allegations in China.
According to the SEC, Novartis offered Chinese doctors lavish entertainment—including a junket to Chicago and Niagara Falls—and other inducements to boost prescriptions of its drugs in the country.
Novartis is not the only multinational drugmaker paying fines to the U.S. for foreign corruption. AstraZeneca agreed last year to pay $5.5 million to settle the SEC’s allegations of bribery in China.
And in a settlement that dwarfs all the others, Israel-based generics giant Teva agreed last month to hand over $520 million to wrap up a raft of bribery allegations in Russia, Ukraine and Mexico, the largest-ever FCPA settlement for a drugmaker.
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(*)De poco te sirvió Joe Jimenez, según parece...