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Parliamentary questions
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30 October 2019
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Dimitrios Papadimoulis
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Inquiry into unlawful practices by the Novartis company

On a recent Swiss TV documentary(1), employees of the Novartis pharmaceuticals company revealed that it was paying bribes to thousands of doctors and government officials in order to boost its sales on the European market through the deliberate prescription of unnecessary and overpriced medicines.

These unfair practices give rise to serious suspicions of large-scale misappropriation of public funds from insurance institutions and possibly the EU.

The Greek judiciary and legislature are already engaged in a preliminary investigation of possible collusion on the part of politicians. In addition, the company is currently engaged in legal proceedings in Spain regarding approval of its products(2).

US inspectors are also conducting an inquiry into allegations of illegal practices, including bribery, corruption, market manipulation, money laundering through intermediary/offshore agencies, etc.

In view of this:

What investigations have so far been carried out by the Commission and other European authorities and what stage have they reached?

2.Will they cooperate with the Member State and US authorities with a view to throwing further light on matters and imposing penalties?

(1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mf1MDhkp-4
(2) https://saludporderecho.org/en/novartis-goes-to-court-to-try-to-prevent-the-government-from-making-information-public-about-the-approval-of-one-of-its-most-innovative-treatments/
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