Japan prosecutors raid Novartis over drug ad scandal

Japanese prosecutors on Wednesday raided the offices of the local arm of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis over alleged exaggerated advertising for a popular blood-pressure drug, local media said.

Officials from the Tokyo Prosecution Office were searching the headquarters of Novartis Pharma KK in central Tokyo, public broadcaster NHK and other media reported.

The raid came after the health ministry filed a against the firm, which has been under fire since a university said the data in clinical studies might have been skewed to promote the , Valsartan.

A Novartis spokesman declined to comment on the raid.

"We cannot say anything related to the investigation," the spokesman said, "but we are taking this situation extremely seriously and will continue to fully cooperate with authorities."

Health Minister Norihisa Tamura has described as "extremely regrettable" the incident in which an employee of the world's number two drugmaker hid his affiliation during a medical study into the effects of the drug, which is used to lower .

The studies suggested the drug—sold under the name Diovan in Japan and licensed for use in more than 100 countries—had some prophylactic effect on strokes and angina.

The firm used data from the studies to market its drug, playing up its supposed additional benefits.

Under Japan's pharmaceutical law, anyone found guilty of exaggerated advertising can face up to two years in prison or a fine of as much as two million yen ($19,500).

A ministry panel of experts concluded in September that Novartis Pharma KK should be held responsible for studies at various universities that used manipulated data on the drug.

Novartis has maintained that the company had no knowledge of the wrongdoing.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Japan files criminal complaint against Novartis arm

Jan 09, 2014

Japan's health ministry on Thursday filed a criminal complaint against the local arm of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis over alleged exaggerated advertising for a popular blood-pressure drug, the company said.

Japan to file criminal complaint against Novartis (Update)

Jan 07, 2014

Japan's health ministry plans to file a criminal complaint against the local arm of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis over alleged exaggerated advertising for a popular blood-pressure drug, an official said Wednesday.

Japan to seek criminal prosecution of Novartis

Dec 18, 2013

Japan's health ministry intends to file a criminal complaint against the local arm of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis over alleged fabrication of drugs data, a report said Wednesday.

New Japan research scandal brewing over Alzheimer's study

Jan 10, 2014

Japan's health ministry said Friday it was probing claims falsified data was used in an Alzheimer's disease study involving major pharmaceutical firms, a day after filing an unrelated criminal complaint against Swiss drugs ...

Recommended for you

Determine patient preferences by means of conjoint analysis

Jul 29, 2014

The Conjoint Analysis (CA) method is in principle suitable to find out which preferences patients have regarding treatment goals. However, to widely use it in health economic evaluations, some (primarily methodological) issues ...

FDA approves hard-to-abuse narcotic painkiller

Jul 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—A new formulation of a powerful narcotic painkiller that discourages potential abusers from snorting or injecting the drug has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Race affects opioid selection for cancer pain

Jul 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Racial disparities exist in the type of opioid prescribed for cancer pain, according to a study published online July 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

FDA approves tough-to-abuse formulation of oxycodone

Jul 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Targiniq ER (oxycodone hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride extended release) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a long-term, around-the-clock treatment for severe ...

User comments