Novartis faces charges in Japan over promotion of valsartan to doctors

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 16 January 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g287
  1. Gavin Blair
  1. 1Tokyo

Japanese regulators have begun a criminal prosecution against the Swiss drug company Novartis, alleging that falsified research was knowingly used in leaflets to promote the antihypertensive drug valsartan (marketed as Diovan) to doctors.

This is the first criminal case based only on the charge of exaggerated advertising to have been brought under Japan’s Pharmaceutical Affairs Law (1960).

The complaint lodged with the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office follows the failure of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and the universities that carried out the original research to establish who falsified data in the …

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