Seoul: Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has been fined 55.1 billion won ($48.80 million) by the South Korean government for bribing doctors to prescribe its drugs. The government has also suspended insurance coverage for Novartis’ nine medicines for six months.
The ministry of health and welfare on Thursday said it has decided to take the punitive measures against Novartis, which is charged with offering 2.59 billion won to doctors from January 2011 to January 2016 in return for more prescriptions of its drugs, reports Korea Times.
The ministry’s decision means the nine medicines will remain expensive for the next six months without insurance reimbursement. “We will continue to try hard to root out such practices (bribing doctors) in the pharmaceutical industry with strong measures,” the ministry said in a statement.