Japan prosecutors raid Novartis over drug ad scandal

February 19, 2014

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.

Explore further: Japan files criminal complaint against Novartis arm

Related Stories

Japan files criminal complaint against Novartis arm

January 9, 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)

January 7, 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

December 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.

Japan to raid Novartis over alleged data fabrication: reports

September 27, 2013
Japanese authorities are preparing to raid the local arm of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis over data fabrication claims, reports said Friday.

New Japan research scandal brewing over Alzheimer's study

January 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 ...

Japan university reveals more claims of fabricated drug data

July 31, 2013
A Japanese university Wednesday said it would retract a study that touted the effectiveness of a blood pressure drug made by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis because it was based on fabricated data.

Recommended for you

Study suggests ending opioid epidemic will take years

July 20, 2017
The question of how to stem the nation's opioid epidemic now has a major detailed response. A new study chaired by University of Virginia School of Law Professor Richard Bonnie provides extensive recommendations for curbing ...

Team-based model reduces prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent

July 17, 2017
A new, team-based, primary care model is decreasing prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent, according to a new study out of Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine, which ...

Private clinics' peddling of unproven stem cell treatments is unsafe and unethical

July 7, 2017
Stem cell science is an area of medical research that continues to offer great promise. But as this week's paper in Science Translational Medicine highlights, a growing number of clinics around the globe, including in Australia, ...

Popular heartburn drugs linked to higher death risk

July 4, 2017
Popular heartburn drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been linked to a variety of health problems, including serious kidney damage, bone fractures and dementia. Now, a new study from Washington University School ...

Most reproductive-age women using opioids also use another substance

June 30, 2017
The majority of reproductive-age and pregnant women who use opioids for non-medical purposes also use at least one other substance, ranging from nicotine or alcohol to cocaine, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate ...

At-risk chronic pain patients taper opioids successfully with psychological tools

June 28, 2017
Psychological support and new coping skills are helping patients at high risk of developing chronic pain and long-term, high-dose opioid use taper their opioids and rebuild their lives with activities that are meaningful ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.