Japan lodges complaint against Novartis

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Japan is filing a criminal complaint against Novartis and its ads for blood pressure medication Diovan. The Japan Times reports that the health ministry's complaint alleges exaggerated advertising, following a September health ministry finding that the company leveraged information from reports that were later discredited for false claims that the drug reduced the risk of cerebral stroke and angina.

The Japan Times says promotional materials for Diovan cited these reports around 700 times. The drug launched in Japan in 2000. Two universities involved in the studies announced in July 2013 that the data had been manipulated.

Novartis has said that it did not know the data was falsified.

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