Swiss drugmaker Novartis has promised to take “fast and decisive action” should an investigation into alleged bribery in Greece find that its managers engaged in unethical or illegal conduct. The Basel-based company is in the midst of a bribery probe in which Greek prosecutors in early 2017 raided its offices in Athens.
In a statement, Novartis said that while it is aware of reports of the investigations by both Greece and U.S. authorities, it has not received formal allegations from Greek authorities nor is it aware of an indictment.
“While Novartis continues to cooperate fully with the Greek and U.S. authorities, we have also been conducting our own comprehensive internal investigation,” the company said.
“We are determined to fully understand the situation and accept responsibility for any actions that fell below our high standards of ethical business conduct. If any wrongdoing is found we will take fast and decisive action and do everything possible to prevent future misconduct.”
Novartis said publicity surrounding the case, at least so far, “appears driven in large part by the selective leaking of portions of a confidential and preliminary investigative file.”
“The public debate around the case includes inaccuracies, speculations, political confrontation, as well as reports without any respect to our employees. The reality is that for more than 14 months Novartis has been working with the Greek and American authorities while conducting its own internal research. Our aim is that this case be clarified as soon as possible in a transparent and honest manner by everyone involved. We are determined to understand in depth the facts of the case and commit ourselves to acting accordingly for any acts that are not consistent with our high ethical business standards. At the same time, we will protect our company and our people according to the rule of law.”
The announcement concluded: “Our commitment to the country and the practical support of Greek patients and the wider Greek society remains unaffected.”
More on Novartis Greece here