Yet another drugmaker has receive a subpoena in connection with a US government investigation into the possibility of foreign bribes. The latest is Teva Pharmaceuticals, which last month received a subpoena from the US Securities and Exchange Commission concerning unspecified activities in Latin America, according to a filing last week with the SEC (see page 19 here).
In a brief description, the drugmaker says it is coopeating with the SEC and is also conducting a voluntary investigations "into certain business practices which may have FCPA implications and has engaged independent counsel to assist in its investigation. These matters are in their early stages and no conclusion can be drawn at this time as to any likely outcomes."
The FCPA, you may recall, forbids US companies from bribing foreign government officials (read here) and, over the past few years, US authorities have made clear that global drugmakers were likely targets of FCPA probes. Bristol-Myers Squibb, for instance, received a subpoena four months ago (see this). Last fall, Pfizer 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 (look here).
Last year, Johnson & Johnson was fined $70 million for bribing public doctors in several European countries – and paying kickbacks to Iraq – to illegally obtain business. Specifically, various J&J units paid bribes to public doctors in Greece who chose J&J surgical implants; public doctors and hospital administrators in Poland who awarded contracts to J&J, and public doctors in Romania to prescribe J&J meds (back story).
bribe pic thx to donhankins on flickr