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Novartis reaches $678 mln settlement of U.S. fraud lawsuit

NEW YORK, July 1 – Novartis AG has agreed to pay $678 million to settle a civil fraud lawsuit in which the U.S. government accused the Swiss drugmaker of illegally providing doctors with cash payments and other perks to induce them to prescribe its cardiovascular and diabetes drugs.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced the settlement late on Wednesday to resolve charges that Novartis violated the federal False Claims Act and an anti-kickback statute. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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