Corruption prosecutors raided the offices of Swiss drug maker Novartis in Athens a few days ago as part of an ongoing investigation over bribery allegations, sources told Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Tuesday.
According to the same sources, the prosecutors requested a thorough search to gather electronic data and documents relating to the probe which was launched in Greece in mid-December. The investigation was ordered by the Supreme Court’s prosecution after a file with media reports on bribery allegations was submitted by Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis. The reports claimed Novartis bribed doctors and public officials to boost prescriptions and company sales.
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.