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Politics

Greece Wants Novartis to Pay Damages Over Alleged Drug Bribes

ATHENS – While an alleged scandal involving the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has unraveled with no proof brought, Greece’s New Democracy government filed a suit demanding the company pay 214 million euros ($224.61) in compensation for driving to drive up sales in the country.

Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris said in a statement that the Greek state is seeking compensation for the damage it has suffered “from the actions that Novartis itself has admitted to in the USA that concerns payments to doctors,” the site Fierce Pharma reported.

He said that Greece reserves the right to claim any damage it has suffered with a newer lawsuit and is clear that “all sanctions against Novartis for its illegal practices will be applied,” Greek media outlets said.

Those were alleged to be bribes to former government officials and healthcare providers to strengthen the company’s position in the country, the suit coming two years after Novartis paid the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission $345 million to settle foreign bribery claims in several countries including Greece.

Novartis admitted it had used medical events and an academic study to bribe Greek officials and healthcare providers and while the US collected on it, Greece wants compensation too, the reports said.

At the same time, nine of 10 politicians who are rivals of the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA, which accused them of taking money but offered no proof, were cleared of any wrongdoing.

A prosecutor who was handling the case and the party’s former justice minister could face trial for allegedly conspiring to concoct a fake scandal to get other politicians, news reports said.

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