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. Grace Pascoe reports.
Just a week after paying one bribery fine - Novartis is dealing with a new allegation. Not involving China this time - but Turkey. An email from an anonymous whistleblower suggests the Swiss drugmaker paid bribes through a consulting firm To secure business advantages worth an estimated 85 million dollars. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CCLA, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, JAMES BEVAN, SAYING: "The allegations are extremely serious. They apparently are very detailed in the email that has been sent to the chief executive and clearly there is a significant case that must be answered to satisfy the international community and the U.S. regulatory authorities." The email sent on February 17th alleges Alp Aydin Consultancy was paid around $290,000, plus costs, during 2013 and 2014. In return they helped get drugs approved for use in Turkey's state hospitals. And arranged for the names of two drugs to be changed to avoid price cuts. Novartis no longer has an association with Aydin. And it says it's committed to the highest standards of ethical business conduct. But after paying 25 million dollars to settle the U.S. case over bribery in China - it will want to avoid another costly payout