Federal government joins lawsuit against drug giant Novartis over bribery, kickback schemes

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: Novartis, pharmaceutical industry, bribery

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
CDC issues flu vaccine apology: this year's vaccine doesn't work!
The five biggest lies about Ebola being pushed by government and mass media
Ultraviolet light robot kills Ebola in two minutes; why doesn't every hospital have one of these?
Tetanus vaccines found spiked with sterilization chemical to carry out race-based genocide against Africans
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
The best way to help your body protect itself against Ebola (or any virus or bacteria)
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
Russia throws down the gauntlet: energy supply to Europe cut off; petrodollar abandoned as currency war escalates
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
W.H.O. contradicts CDC, admits Ebola can spread via coughing, sneezing and by touching contaminated surfaces
Top ten things you need to do NOW to protect yourself from an uncontrolled Ebola outbreak
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
FDA targets Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps for sharing health benefits of coconut oil
U2's Bono partners with Monsanto to destroy African agriculture with GMOs
Why flu shots are the greatest medical fraud in history
Governments seize colloidal silver being used to treat Ebola patients, says advocate
Flu vaccine kills 13 in Italy; death toll rises

(NaturalNews) A lawsuit originally filed by a former employee-turned-whistleblower of pharmaceutical giant Novartis is gaining new momentum following the announcement that the federal government has now joined on as a plaintiff. According to the suit, Novartis has committed numerous crimes over the years, including alleged violations of the federal anti-kickback statute, by illegally paying off doctors with fancy dinners, vacation trips, cash, and other lavish perks to prescribe Novartis-branded drugs to patients.

The civil suit is an extension of an earlier lawsuit filed back in 2010 by former Novartis executive Oswald Bilotta, and it is merely the latest in a string of suits filed against the New Jersey-based company over the past decade. According to reports, Novartis has paid out tens of millions of dollars over at least the past ten years to have doctors promote its drugs at "educational" seminars. The company also allegedly paid off pharmacists to switch patients' drugs from less-expensive competitor drugs to Novartis-branded drugs.

"Novartis corrupted the prescription drug dispensing process with multimillion-dollar 'incentive programs' that targeted doctors who, in exchange for illegal kickbacks, steered patients toward its drugs," said U.S. attorney Preet Bharara in a recent statement. "For its investment, Novartis reaped dramatically increased profits on these drugs, and Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal healthcare programs were left holding the bag."

Novartis roped in doctors for its drug marketing scam by treating them to fancy meals

According to Reuters, Novartis had carefully created an extensive scheme of kickback programs that purposely cozied up to doctors and basically turned them into drug-dispensing salesmen for Novartis. The lawsuit itself describes doctors being taken out to Hooters restaurants, for instance, as well as to other pricier restaurants such as Chicago's Japonais and L20 as incentives. In one documented case back in 2005, Novartis took three doctors to the lavish Nobu restaurant in Dallas, where they were treated to $10,000 worth of fine food and spirits.

"We believe that Novartis' alleged payment of kickbacks is yet another example of abuse in the pharmaceutical industry that contributes to skyrocketing medical costs," says James Miller, a partner at Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller, and Shah in Chester, Connecticut. Miller is representing Bilotta, the original plaintiff in the case.

Even though Novartis has already paid out hundreds of millions of dollars throughout the past few years for prior criminal and civil liability cases involving illegal drug marketing, the company is attempting to maintain its alleged innocence in this case. A Novartis spokeswoman is actually quoted as saying that the company's "promotional programs" are somehow educational, and that they are supposedly "conducted in an ethical and responsible manner."

Sources for this article include:

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.