The chief executive of Novartis (NVS) sent employees an email Thursday seeking to contain intensifying political and business fallout over the revelation that the drug maker paid $1.2 million to President Trump’s personal lawyer to gain access to the White House.

“Yesterday was not a good day for Novartis,” wrote Vasant Narasimhan, a physician and former McKinsey consultant, who joined the drug maker more than a decade ago and oversaw global drug development before being promoted to chief executive this past February.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT Plus. To get you started, enjoy 50% off your first 3 months!

GET STARTED

What is it?

STAT Plus is STAT's premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.

What's included?

  • Daily reporting and analysis
  • The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day
  • Online intelligence briefings
  • Frequent opportunities to engage with veteran beat reporters and industry experts
  • Exclusive industry events
  • Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country
  • The best reporters in the industry
  • The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry
  • And much more
  • Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.

Leave a Comment

Please enter your name.
Please enter a comment.

  • Read up on Novartis (far from alone among major pharmaceuticals) paying huge fines for being accused by US Attorneys for fraud. Let’s not be stupid about how these firms function by preference not by accident.

  • This is hysterical. Novartis prides itself on being pristine – and here they are sleeping with the enemy#@$$$. They should be embarrassed. Charging customers lots of money for drugs they produce in an effort to get in with the White House. And they are probably penny pinching in their day to day operations in the company to pay for their mistake. You ass holes👍🙏🙏🙏

  • AT&T has announced it fired its government affairs official who did a similar deal with Cohen. When will we hear the same from Novartis? Or will they just claim this was all done directly with Jimenez (ha, ha, ha)?

  • There is no way Jimenez did this alone. Who knew; co-authored it and what will be the consequence for it. Impugning the company reputation in service to access is just bad judgement on the part of Novartis senior leadership. They can bury Jimenez….but what of the others.

  • A lot of Novartis’s political activity is shady. It is oriented toward thwarting reasonable health-care policy. In this case, paying money to an unregistered lobbyist who offered an obviously shady pay-for-play deal, is disgraceful. It is a valid time for some soul-searching on the part of all Novartis staff, shareholders and customers.

  • There’s nothing wrong with paying money if you have it. I wish I had that much money to get access. It’d sure beat the life I’m living now.

    • A lot of Novartis’s political activity is shady. It is oriented toward thwarting reasonable health-care policy. In this case, paying money to an unregistered lobbyist who offered an obviously shady pay-for-play deal, is disgraceful. It is a valid time for some soul-searching on the part of all Novartis staff, shareholders and customers.

  • When caught redhanded, it is convenient to blame the “other guy.” As one involved in many organizational transitions from one CEO to another, the smart guys review ASAP the organization’s outstanding commitments–most especially consultant contracts. Novartis when going to “sup with the devil” failed to bring a sufficiently long spoon. Right now, it appears to many of us that Novartis went into the swamp expecting to benefit from a connection with Trump and associates. Let’s see if Novartis stock values reflect the payoff.

Your daily dose of news in health and medicine

Privacy Policy