The U.S. government logged a major anti-bribery win this week when Pfizer agreed to a $60 million settlement to resolve charges that the company’s subsidiaries violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. From law firm Warner Norcross & Judd:
“The charges arose from government claims that ‘employees and agents’ of Pfizer subsidiaries made unlawful payments to doctors and other health care professionals employed by governments in Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Serbia. The government claimed that the payments were made in the process of obtaining regulatory approvals, but also in the process of making sales and in promoting increased prescriptions for its drugs.
According to the SEC, ‘[Pfizer’s subsidiaries] tried to conceal the bribery by improperly recording the transactions in accounting records as legitimate expenses for promotional activities, marketing, training, travel and entertainment, clinical trials, freight, conferences, and advertising.’ The SEC’s complaint, for example, alleges that a Pfizer subsidiary entertained Chinese state doctors at various events to whom it was marketing prescription drugs and thus rewarding them for prescribing.”
Read the full update: