Novartis Close to Settlement in Fraud Litigation
Swiss drug giant Novartis is closing in on a deal with the federal government to settle claims that the company bribed doctors to prescribe three of its drugs, according to published reports.
Prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York filed a letter to District Judge Paul Gardephe that was inadvertently published, briefly, on the public docket, Bloomberg reported. The letter said a settlement offer with “a monetary aspect” has been submitted to the Department of Justice for expedited review.
Novartis confirmed to FDAnews that it is “engaged in settlement discussions with the Southern District of New York” to resolve the ongoing litigation. The government has sought up to $2 billion in damages.
Novartis has been in litigation with the government for six years, fighting allegations that it paid speaking fees and funded fishing trips and restaurant outings to get doctors to prescribe Novartis’ blood-pressure medications Lotrel (amlodipine-benazepril) and Valturna (aliskiren and valsartan), and its diabetes treatment, Starlix (nateglinide).