Novartis keeps apologizing for Diovan studies as it rakes in Diovan revenues

Swiss drugmaker Novartis' situation with heart drug Diovan is like some kind of tragicomedy movie. The drugmaker has to keep apologizing for unethical studies of the heart drug in Japan even as it continues to haul in revenue from the drug hand over fist in the absence of generic competition. A third university says it has uncovered a study in which a Novartis ($NVS) employee participated without declaring his ties, and in which there is questionable data. In fact, the Japan Times reports, officials with Shiga University of Medical Science said more than 10% of data in the study didn't match up with original in clinical records. More importantly, the committee digging into it said it appears the data was changed to make the Diovan results look stronger. This comes after two other Japanese universities found manipulated data from the Novartis employee in studies that have since been retracted. Last month authorities in Japan said they were going to look into the matter. Novartis recently upped its earnings forecast for the year based on the expectation that it will continue to be able to sell Diovan without facing generic competition. Ranbaxy Laboratories was slated to bring out a generic but has run into problems with the FDA. Story | More

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