False clinical trial data is serious business. An ex-Novartis employee in Japan has been arrested amid allegations that he used false trial data to promote Diovan, a blood pressure medication promoted by Novartis. Now the drug company itself is in hot water and faces criminal charges in Japan. According to the allegations, Novartis was responsible for supervising its employee, Nobuo Shirahashi who supposedly gave false clinical trial data to researchers. Allegedly the results of these studies were then used to promote the drug. But that is not all. Novartis is accused of more bad behavior….according to news reports, sale reps may have improperly worked with researchers while engaged in a study involving Novartis leukemia drugs Gleevec and Tasigna. Although these allegations appear to be centered in Japan, the conduct alleged could be deemed wrongful under United States law assuming jurisdictional requirements are met.
Novartis and Diovan have been in the news before. Nolan Auerbach and White represented whistleblowers in two successful qui tam cases against Novartis (U.S.A. ex rel. Austin v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation and U.S.A. ex rel. Garrity v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation) in which Novartis agreed to pay $422.5 million to resolve criminal and civil liability.