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Parliamentary questions
2 February 2017
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Investigations into multinational Novartis's illegal practices

US supervisory authorities are currently investigating the activity of Novartis between 2006 and 2014 for illegal practices, including: bribery, corruption, market leverage, and money laundering through surrogates/offshore companies. The corporation has been accused repeatedly and in a number of countries around the world of such practices and has paid huge fines.

One of the primary countries in the investigation is Greece, where expenses for pharmaceutical products shot up from EUR 2.4 billion in 2004 to EUR 5.09 billion in 2009 and currently amount to approximately EUR 6 billion. American authorities have already investigated Novartis executives who are Greek nationals.

It has been revealed that for promotion purposes, Novartis bribed thousands of doctors and state officials with cash/vouchers, trips/conferences, overprescribed drugs to public insurance organisations, overpriced drugs in Europe (Greece is the reference country in determining prices of drugs at EU level, as one of the three cheapest countries in the EU) and recklessly promoted more expensive drugs and vaccines.

1. Is the Commission aware of any EU or international convictions on or current investigations into Novartis illegal practices? If so, which is it aware of?

2. Behind the revelations could lie crimes against insurance organisations, Member States and possibly the EU budget. Is the Commission investigating the reports? What means does the Commission have and what action is it taking to protect Member States against such practices?

Original language of question: EL 
Last updated: 20 February 2017Legal notice