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

In most surgery patients, length of opioid prescription, number of refills spell highest risk for misuse

January 17, 2018
The possible link between physicians' opioid prescription patterns and subsequent abuse has occupied the attention of a nation in the throes of an opioid crisis looking for ways to stem what experts have dubbed an epidemic. ...

Patients receive most opioids at the doctor's office, not the ER

January 16, 2018
Around the country, state legislatures and hospitals have tightened emergency room prescribing guidelines for opioids to curb the addiction epidemic, but a new USC study shows that approach diverts attention from the main ...

FDA bans use of opioid-containing cough meds by kids

January 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—Trying to put a dent in the ongoing opioid addiction crisis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday slapped strict new restrictions on the use of opioid-containing cold and cough products by kids.

Taking ibuprofen for long periods found to alter human testicular physiology

January 9, 2018
A team of researchers from Denmark and France has found that taking regular doses of the pain reliever ibuprofen over a long period of time can lead to a disorder in men called compensated hypogonadism. In their paper published ...

Nearly one-third of Canadians have used opioids: study

January 9, 2018
Nearly one in three Canadians (29 percent) have used "some form of opioids" in the past five years, according to data released Tuesday as widespread fentanyl overdoses continue to kill.

Growing opioid epidemic forcing more children into foster care

January 8, 2018
The opioid epidemic has become so severe it's considered a national public health emergency. Addiction to prescription painkillers, such as oxycodone and morphine, has contributed to a dramatic rise in overdose deaths and ...

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.