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Prosecutors raid Novartis Korea over alleged rebates

All Headlines 18:04 February 22, 2016

SEOUL, Feb. 22 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors raided the South Korean unit of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis on Monday on suspicions that it had provided rebates to local doctors.

The Seoul Western District Prosecutors' Office said it confiscated documents and account books from Novartis Korea during the raid that began around 9 a.m.

A prosecution official involved in the investigation said the raid was "part of an investigation into finding out how the rebates were offered," but said it was too early to confirm any charges against the company.

The prosecutors are said to have launched an investigation into the company after judging that it might have been involved in handing out bribes to doctors for using their products.

Company officials are expected to be called in for questioning once an analysis into confiscated items is complete.

Novartis Korea did not immediately reply to a call seeking comment.

The company, an affiliate of Novartis AG, makes medicines for such diseases as hypertension, leukemia, dementia, diabetes and Parkinson's disease.

kjkyp@yna.co.kr
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