A disgusted senior Novartis employee told StatNews that many who work there “feel disgusted,” over the drug company’s $1.2 million payment for access to President Trump, saying, “People are angry and confused, because it makes all of us look bad.”
The CEO of Novartis sent employees an email Thursday saying yesterday’s revelation that the company signed a one year contract with Michael Cohen and his firm Essential Consultants for access to Trump was not a “good day” for Novartis. The email, Ed Silverman of StatNews reported, sought “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.”
The CEO then seemed, ironically a bit like Trump, to focus on his own troubles instead of the wrong the company he helms engaged in, saying the company made a mistake but “unfounded stories” caused him to go to sleep frustrated and tired.
“We made a mistake entering into this engagement and as a consequence are being criticized by a world that expects more from us,” he continued. “Personally, for my family it was also a difficult day as unfounded stories spread through the U.S. news… I went to sleep frustrated and tired.”
It’s called Pay to Play, and there is no excuse for it.
Novartis makes a lot of claims about its integrity on its website, including claiming to disclose payments to healthcare professionals and complying with the highest ethical standards:
NPC has established and maintains an effective compliance program that is based on the highest ethical standards and in accordance with federal, state, and industry regulations and guidelines.
NPC’s Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services expands upon our already strong commitment to sustainable performance built on a solid foundation of ethical behavior at all levels of business.
Payments to Healthcare Professionals
NPC believes that disclosing payments related to our interactions with healthcare professionals helps foster trust and supports our commitment to adhere to the highest ethical standards as outlined in the Novartis Code of Conduct.
Here’s Donald Trump accusing (falsely) Hillary Clinton of “Pay for play” (it’s “Pay to play” and there’s no evidence that Clinton was doing it):
Pay to play is demanding a payment, often illegally, for taking part in a certain business activity, or quid pro quo involving a payment.
Wikipedia says the Swiss company manufactures “clozapine (Clozaril), diclofenac (Voltaren), carbamazepine (Tegretol), valsartan (Diovan), imatinib mesylate (Gleevec/Glivec), ciclosporin (Neoral/Sandimmun), letrozole (Femara), methylphenidate (Ritalin), terbinafine (Lamisil), and others.”
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.