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Novartis Says Employee Alleging Kickbacks Asked for Compensation

Novartis AG said a former employee who alleges the Swiss drugmaker asked her to give doctors kickbacks for sales has made a 5 million-yuan ($817,000) compensation claim against the company.

Novartis spokesman Eric Althoff confirmed the woman has filed a complaint with Chinese authorities, without further specifying the nature of the accusation, citing an internal investigation at the Basel-based drugmaker.

The former employee, identified by the pseudonym Li Li, said her manager told her to spend 50,000 yuan to sell 50 doses of the Sandostatin LAR stomach cancer medication, according to a report yesterday from the 21st Century Business Herald, a newspaper based in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

“Novartis takes allegations of misconduct seriously and will take appropriate actions depending on the findings once the investigation is concluded,” Althoff said today in an e-mail.

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