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Novartis, former unit to pay $346 million to resolve U.S. bribery charges

The logo of Swiss drugmaker Novartis is pictured at the French company's headquarters in Rueil-Malmaison

(Reuters) - Novartis AG and a former unit will pay more than $346 million to resolve U.S. criminal and civil charges they bribed doctors, hospitals and clinics to prescribe their drugs and use their surgical products, U.S. authorities announced on Thursday.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Novartis Hellas, a Greece-based unit, will pay a $225 million criminal penalty and entered a deferred prosecution agreement.

Alcon Pte, a former Novartis unit that is now part of Alcon AG, will pay an $8.9 million criminal penalty and entered its own deferred prosecution agreement.

Novartis will also pay $112.8 million to settle related civil charges by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York)