Novartis under scrutiny in Japan
The scandal over Diovan draws regulatory attention.
Allegations of misconduct are driving doctors away from Novartis' heart medicine Diovan and drawing attention from government authorities in Japan. Pharmalot reported that government reps will raid the drug maker's officers, following a health ministry report that the company is responsible for falsified research that exaggerated the drug's benefits, a violation of the country's Pharmaceutical Affairs Act. Investigations into questionable research spanned the summer and, Pharmalot noted, elicited admissions from two employees in May that they had been involved in clinical trials, an intersection of drug company employees and researchers that was later confirmed by a third party. The scandal has resulted in retracted papers, lost hospital prescriptions and several university investigations.