Novartis AG (NVS): "We Do Not Bribe Anyone"  
8/29/2012 8:34:08 AM

The recent spate of fines and embarrassing headlines about foreign bribes paid by some of its rivals has apparently prompted Novartis to listen ever-so closely to its legal consultants. And so, earlier this week, the drugmaker issued a stern and carefully calibrated note to employees about its anti-bribery policy, which comes down to this: “We do not bribe anyone.” Or so they say. The move comes just three weeks after the US Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Pfizer (PFE) with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act after finding various subsidiaries bribed doctors and other health care professionals employed by foreign governments in order to win business (back story). The FCPA, you may recall, forbids US companies from bribing foreign government officials.