Greece sues Novartis for $210M over bribery allegations

June 20, 2022

Greece is suing Novartis for €200 million ($210M) over bribery and kickback allegations.

In a statement made last week, the country’s minister of health Thanos Plevris expressed that the Greek state is seeking compensation for “the moral damage suffered by the Greek state from the actions that the company itself has confessed in the USA and concerning the financing of doctors.”

Plevris was referring to a years-long legal battle Novartis faced in the United States, in which the company was found liable to pay $642 million in separate settlements resolving claims that it violated the False Claims Act. Novartis was also accused of hosting “tens of thousands of speaker programs and related events under the guise of providing educational content when in fact the events served as nothing more than a means to provide bribes to doctors.”

In 2017, the allegations prompted Greek prosecutors to order an investigation and raid Novartis’ Athens offices.  Back then, court officials said they had no further evidence apart from reports made in the United States and that they would collaborate with American judicial authorities.

Now, five years later “the Greek state reserves a new lawsuit to claim any damage it has suffered and we are clear that all sanctions against Novartis for its illegal practices will be applied."