Top lawyer at Novartis to step down amid Michael Cohen scandal

Felix Ehrat, the top lawyer at Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, has decided to step down from his role over the drugmaker's $1.2 million payment to President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen for healthcare policy lobbying services.

Mr. Ehrat, who has been Novartis' group general counsel since 2011, made the decision to retire "in the context of discussions" surrounding the payment to President Trump's personal lawyer.

"Although the contract was legally in order, it was an error. As a co-signatory with our former CEO, I take personal responsibility to bring the public debate on this matter to an end," Mr. Ehrat said in a statement.

Novartis has faced public outrage in recent weeks over its payment to Essential Consultants, a company founded by Mr. Cohen in 2016. According to earlier reports, Essential Consultants reached out to Novartis in February 2017, promising senior officials access to President Trump if they contracted with their company. Novartis agreed to a $100,000 per month contract for one-year with Essentials Consultants.  

Shannon Thyme Klinger, currently the chief ethics, risk and compliance officer at Novartis, will be appointed group general council, effective June 1.

More articles on leadership and management:
National survey shows millennial nurses rewriting the rules
Physician groups form new coalition aimed at helping providers transition to value-based care
Sen. McCaskill drafts bill to give states more control over air ambulance costs

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2019. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.


Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months