Pfizer will pay $60 million to settle federal FCPA investigations

The SEC and DOJ say Pfizer subsidiaries bribed foreign officials in an effort to boost sales and win regulatory approval

Move over Wal-Mart; there’s a new FCPA violator in town. Pfizer Inc. will pay $60 million to settle allegations that its subsidiaries bribed foreign health care professionals in an effort to increase business.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) were both investigating reports that, for more than a decade, Pfizer employees in Bulgaria, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia and Serbia paid overseas officials to endorse the company’s products and grant them regulatory approval. Among the more colorful allegations in the SEC complaint are reports that Pfizer employees gave cell phones, reading glasses and tea sets to government doctors in China, and took Russian officials on “motivational trips” to boost pharmaceutical sales.

Alanna Byrne

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