June 26, 2019 / 12:39 PM / 3 months ago

Novartis says did not export dual-use chemicals to Syria

ZURICH, June 26 (Reuters) - Novartis did not export dual-use chemicals to a Syrian partner, the Swiss drugmaker said on Wednesday, amid scrutiny of shipments by German chemicals distributor Brenntag via a Swiss subsidiary in 2014.

Reports in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung and other newspapers said Brenntag, the world's largest chemicals distributor, sold chemical raw materials to a Syrian pharmaceutical company called Mediterranean Pharmaceutical Industries (MPI). Novartis has a contract manufacturing and distribution deal with MPI for some products.

"It was the responsibility of MPI to obtain the necessary adjuvants required for production itself directly from a third party supplier," Novartis said in a statement. "Novartis exported neither isopropanol nor diethylamine to Syria at that time nor does it do so currently." (Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Michael Shields)

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