Pharmaceutical companies

Greece, FBI also in the Novartis scandal: "Bribes for everyone, politicians, officials and media"

Greece, FBI also in the Novartis scandal: "Bribes for everyone, politicians, officials and media"

Bipartisan bribes to overprice drugs: this is the accusation of the Greek magistrates, which however end up in the meat grinder of the parties. The role of the US Justice Department was decisive in the investigations, which raised the curtain on an annual profit of 500 million euros. 3000 page booklet.

There is also the former socialist minister of health Andreas Loverdos among the suspects tracksuit for the scandal Novartis, the mega investigation done in collaboration with the FBI which is uncovering a real Pandora's box of bribes and drug surcharges for theGreek Treasury. The action of the Greek anti-corruption prosecutor's office has led to the removal of Loverdos' immunity which he will have to give explanations on the four pharmaceutical compositions (crazy, Tasigna of 150 mg and 200 mg and Lucentis) which cost the exchequer a disproportionately by decision of his Ministry of Health. For this he would have pocketed a bribe from 200mila euros. The allegations against Loverdos, included in a voluminous file of 3000 pages forwarded to Parliament, were based on the statements of four informants, whose identities remain secret. To aggravate her position an internal note at Novartis that ended up in the hands of magistrates which explains the intervention of the then socialist minister on the drug crazy: “In record time, this is the first time a product has seen price approval beyond standard procedure".

But the 200 thousand euros would be just the tip of a iceberg much wider, since according to the current minister of justice, Stavros Kontonis, Novartis allegedly bribed “thousands” of doctors and civil servants to promote his products. The new fact is that the investigation also touches winds people (among journalists, managers, directors of local health authorities, doctors and scientific representatives) directly involved from April 2011 to May 2012 in the creation of slush funds. According to the magistrates, at least one million euros, but probably many more since the economic advantage calculated for the pharmaceutical giant by the favors of Greek politics, it was around 500 million a year, despite the spending reviews set by Troika. To enrich the file also a report drawn up by the US Department of Justice on the basis of the investigations carried out by the FBI which states that some media have been used by Novartis to pay bribes and to launder money. The paper states that “i government officials and the minister of health were paid for the registration and introduction of new products on the market and protection against price increases. In 2011-2012 the pharmaceutical industry suffered reductions of high price. But Novartis has not had such a reduction for its own oncological drugs, while for other drugs negligible reductions”.

According to the federal an advertising agency played the role of subject-bridge to bribe officials, as follows from a number of invoices fictitious in the acts of the anti-corruption prosecutor of Athens. Within the month of May it will also be decidedauthorization to proceed for the other suspects, all excellent names in Greek and European politics: ranging from the former conservative prime minister Antonis Samaras, to the former Minister of Health Adonis Georgiades (also of Nea Demokratia), by the current Governor of the Bank of Greece and former Minister of Economy Yanis Stournaras, to the current EU immigration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos. It all stems from the statements of a former Greek manager of Novartis, who on New Year's Day 2016 threatened to jump from the roof garden of theHilton hotels of Athens if he had not been heard by the magistrate Athenian which he has dealt with in recent years anticorruption. After his revelations, the private house was also searched Yanis Stournaras, former finance minister under the technical premier Luka Papademos and current Governor of Bank of Greece.

Instead, the charges for the former ministers are dropped Evangelis Venizelos, Andreas Lykouretzos and Georgios Koutroumanis and for former premier Panagiotis Pikrammenos. The opposition of Nea Dimokratia rejects the accusations. According to the spokeswoman Sofia Zacharaki the Tsipras government “in a panic over the manifestations public against the agreement of Overslept he concocted what he purports to be the biggest scandal since the founding of the Greek state to discredit ten of his political rivals.” The response of the Syriza government is entrusted to the speaker Dimitri Tzanakopoulos that the case has “completely terrorized the powers that be in the old establishment and led to reactions that are indicative of its mentality,” adding that Nea Dimokratia and supply they are trying to intimidate prosecutors. Just the National Association of Prosecutors tracksuit, after the attacks from various quarters on the magistrates, in an official note he reacted against the offensive comments of the parties involved, emphasizing the fact that they are already forced to "exercise their constitutional duty in adverse conditions" due to of austerity due to the crisis.


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