Feds Investigate Big Pharma Drug Firms for Bribery

Federal investigators are looking at ways that drug makers could be paying bribes overseas to boost sales and speed approvals, according to letters sent to the companies and people close to the matter, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The companies involved include Big Pharma giants such as Merck, AstraZeneca, BristolMyersSquibb, Baxter International, Eli Lilly, and GlaxoSmithKline.

“The companies said they are cooperating with the government, with several adding that the investigation is industry-wide and broader than their companies specifically,” the Journal said. “Many said they have policies meant to ensure compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.”

So far none of the companies has been accused of wrong-doing, and it’s possible no charges could be field, according to the Journal. In the meantime a lawyer for one drug company said the industry has been vexed because the recent requests were so broad and because the investigations, across operations in several countries, can cost millions of dollars.

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