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What does tone from the top really mean?

Tom Fox | March 22, 2018

In light of the kickback charges being levied against drug maker Novartis, the company’s chairman seems to be somewhat dismissive. Last week Jaclyn Jaeger, writing in this publication, noted the unrepentant attitude of the Chairman Jörg Reinhardt who said at the annual shareholder’s meeting that the company is “working fully with relevant authorities. We are also carrying out a detailed investigation of our own. These investigations are going to take a lot of time, because we have to look at all of our interactions with thousands of doctors over a ten-year period.” He then added, “So far, the authorities have not brought any formal charges against Novartis or against any of our employees … They may never be proven. I don’t believe we should simply assume that the press is correct about the level of issues involved. Myself and my colleagues will clear this with authorities.”

These sentiments may not quite belie the truth, as there are now...

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