Pfizer To Pay $60M To Settle Bribery Probe

Pfizer To Pay $60M To Settle Bribery Probe

November 21st, 2011 // 1:32 pm @

The big drugmaker has reached an agreement in principle with the US Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission to pay at least $60 million resolve a foreign bribery investigation, and a final deal could be struck by the end of the year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The disclosure comes just a few days after Pfizer filed documents noting the deal was in the works . And three months ago, Pfizer said it “voluntarily” provided the agencies with information about “potentially improper payments” made by unspecified Pfizer and Wyeth subsidiaries in connections with sales activities in countries other than the US. The other countries were not named.

The move comes amid increased scrutiny by the feds into the pharmaceutical industry and its interactions with foreign health care systems. In late 2009, the head of the 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.

In April, Johnson & Johnson was fined $70 million for bribing public doctors in several European countries – and paying kickbacks to Iraq – to illegally obtain business . And over the past year, at least five other drugmakers, including Merck and Eli Lilly, received letters as the feds seeks to uncover any FCPA violations.

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