Drugmakers From Which Country Will Offer Bribes?

Drugmakers From Which Country Will Offer Bribes?

November 4th, 2011 // 12:24 pm @

As the world grows smaller and multi-national drugmakers race to establish beachheads in the so-called emerging markets, such as China and India, the threat of competition also grows stronger every day. Notably, many of these countries want to develop their own pharmaceutical industries. And why not? After all, such growth expands economies and can make some people rich.

Vladimir Putin understands this. Earlier this year, the Russian prime minister threatened global drugmakers with reprisals if they did not pick up the pace of their investments (see this). Specifically, he was seeking more production to take place within his borders and he also wants more technology transfer.

Issuing threats, however, is only one way to get what you want. Another may be bribes. In fact, Russia is perceived as the country where companies are most likely to offer something under the table. Russia scored worst of 28 countries in a poll of 3,000 business executives that was conducted by Transparency International, which tracks corruption around the world. Next up? China.

Bribery, as you know, is a hot issue. Over the past couple of years, several big drugmakers have received letters as the federal government seeks to uncover violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which forbids US companies from bribing foreign government officials. One aspect of the probe reportedly involves exploring whether drugmakers and clinical trial organizations pay off third-party investigators to finesse research data.

Interestingly, Transparency International also found that bribery between companies across different industry sectors is seen as just as common as bribery between companies and public officials. This does not bode well for industries that are scrambling to expand while also protecting their highly desirable intellectual property.

Which sectors are perceived to be quickest to offer something illicit? Of 19 industries, pharma actually was tied for 13th place, which is to say that drugmakers are not the worst, but they are no angels, either. All forms of bribery are believed to take place – such as bribes paid to low-level public officials (petty corruption), improper contributions made to high-level public officials and politicians (grand corruption), and bribes paid to other companies in the private sector, according to TI. Generally, drugmakers are perceived as offering petty and private bribes more often

Source: Pharmalot

Subscribe Now

Featured Partner