Novartis at center of Mexico corruption probe


MEXICO CITY (BNO NEWS) — Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Wednesday ordered an investigation into a suspected corruption case involving the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and pharmaceutical giant Novartis.

“I have instructed that the possible corruption within the IMSS be thoroughly investigated and those resulting responsible be punished,” Calderon said through his Twitter account, while traveling to South Korea.

Mexican TV network Televisa on its Tuesday evening news broadcast presented an audio recording of an IMSS official negotiating the purchase of $80 million pesos ($6.5 million) worth of pharmaceuticals with Rafael Castro, Novartis’ laboratory director.

In addition, the officer informed the Novartis’ representative that the purchase in a tender would be published this Thursday, as well as a corresponding commission.

On Tuesday, IMSS announced that it had dismissed Cesar Mora Eguiarte from his position, IMSS’ Goods and Services Acquisition Coordinator due to the alleged corruption case.

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