ATHENS Jan 4 Greek corruption prosecutors have
raided the Athens offices of Swiss drug maker Novartis
as part of an ongoing probe over bribery allegations after media
reports, a court official told Reuters on Wednesday.
"In the framework of a judicial probe that was ordered in
December, prosecutors raided the offices of Novartis over the
last few days to search for possible bribery," said the
official, who declining to be identified.
The investigation was ordered after the country's justice
minister responded to media reports alleging bribes by Novartis
to doctors and public officials.
"The prosecutors do not have any other evidence apart from
the reports and have asked U.S. judicial authorities for
assistance," the court official said.
Novartis did not respond to a request for immediate comment.
The Swiss drug maker is fighting a widening lawsuit by U.S.
prosecutors who allege its sales force ran a decade-long doctor
kickback scheme involving sham events that led to overcharging
the federal government.
The drugmaker has disputed the allegations, which were filed
in 2013, but faces an investigation in Turkey after an anonymous
whistleblower alleged the company paid bribes there through a
consulting firm to secure business advantages worth an estimated
In 2015 Novartis paid $390 million to settle U.S.
allegations that it used kickbacks to speciality pharmacies to
inappropriately push the sales of its drugs.
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos and Lefteris Papadimas;
additional reporting by Michael Shields in Zurich; editing by