Contribute Try STAT+ Today

A lawmaker is opening an investigation into Novartis for paying $1.2 million to President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, in an attempt to gain access to the White House, a disclosure that has prompted widespread criticism of the drug maker.

The company has said it agreed to a one-year contract, beginning in February 2017, with Cohen’s firm, Essential Consultants, in order to create a direct channel to the Trump administration about “health care policy matters.” The arrangement, however, has been widely derided because Cohen is not a lobbyist or an expert in health care matters. And Novartis said it let the contract lapse when it expired.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!


What is it?

STAT+ 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
  • STAT+ Conversations
  • Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations
  • 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.