Doc In AstraZeneca Bribe Scandal Commits Suicide

Doc In AstraZeneca Bribe Scandal Commits Suicide

January 13th, 2012 // 1:12 pm @

A key figure in a scandal in which AstraZeneca was indicted in Serbia over allegations of offering bribes to physicians has committed suicide. Nenad Borojevic, who was the former director of the Serbian Institute of Oncology and Radiology Nenad Borojevic, was found hanging from a tree in a forest in Belgrade, according to media reports (read here and here).

Borojevic was arrested in 2010, along with others officials at the Institute and representatives from several drugmakers, including Roche, on suspicion of accepting and giving bribes totaling about $1.4 million (read here). He had been charged supplying drugmakers with information on the amount of cytostatic drugs needed and on public procurement plans, but denied the charges or taking bribes.

AstraZeneca, meanwhile, had written us in November to say that the drugmaker intends “to vigorously defend the matter and have filed a number of pending preliminary procedural objections that ask the Serbian criminal court to dismiss the indictment.”

The indictment came amid widening probes by regulators in the US and the UK into alleged overseas corruption by the pharmaceutical industry. In late 2009, the head of the US Justice Department’s Criminal Division warned drugmakers that there will be more criminal enforcement against interactions with foreign officials as they seek violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

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