Japanese health authorities plan to order a 15-day suspension for the Novartis unit in Japan for failing to report side effects associated with its drugs.
The suspension would mean Novartis can not sell most of its drugs during the two-week period -- a first for a pharmaceutical firm operating in Japan.
Last July, the Japanese unit of Novartis apologized for failing to report the side-effects of its leukemia drugs, Gleevec and Tasigna. Sources reported that Novartis knew about side-effects of its leukemia treatments as early as April 2013, but did not report them until April 2014.
The Japanese market accounted for about 7% of Novartis' total sales last year.
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