February 12, 2018 / 9:49 AM / 8 months ago

Novartis promises fast, decisive action if wrongdoing found in Greece

ZURICH, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Novartis has promised to take "fast and decisive action" should an investigation into alleged bribery in Greece find that its managers engaged in unethical or illegal conduct.

The Basel-based company is in the midst of a bribery probe in which Greek prosecutors in early 2017 raided its offices in Athens.

In a statement, Novartis said that while it is aware of reports of the investigations by both Greece and U.S. authorities, it has not received formal allegations from Greek authorities nor is it aware of an indictment.

"While Novartis continues to cooperate fully with the Greek and U.S. authorities, we have also been conducting our own comprehensive internal investigation," the company said.

"We are determined to fully understand the situation and accept responsibility for any actions that fell below our high standards of ethical business conduct. If any wrongdoing is found we will take fast and decisive action and do everything possible to prevent future misconduct."

Novartis said publicity surrounding the case, at least so far, "appears driven in large part by the selective leaking of portions of a confidential and preliminary investigative file."

It also cited reports that it says have included "many sensational and unfounded claims in a politicized debate." (Reporting by John Miller; Editing by David Holmes)

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