Thursday, July 22, 2010

Big Pharma Caught with hand in the cookie jar bribing foreign country's in pay to play sham.






Big Pharma Caught with hand in the cookie jar bribing foreign country's in pay to play sham.

Via bnet-pharma & reporter Jim Edwards:



The Price of Admission: 10 Medical Companies Suspected of Paying Bribes in Foreign Countries

AstraZeneca (AZN), Baxter International (BAX), Eli Lilly (LLY) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) are suspected of paying bribes to do business in foreign countries, suggesting that kickbacks are standard operating procedure for big pharmaceutical companies.

At least 10 companies are under investigation by the SEC or the Department of Justice for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

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@ Main Justice.com

Exclusive: FCPA Pharma Probe Spans 3 Continents

By Christopher M. Matthews, Joe Palazzolo and Aruna Viswanatha | July 19, 2010 6:03 pm

http://www.mainjustice.com/2010/07/19/fcpa-pharma-probe-spans-three-continents/


A U.S. probe of pharmaceutical companies suspected of foreign bribery is targeting operations in at least eight countries sprawled across three continents, according to several people with knowledge of the investigation.

In late April, the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission each sent letters to four major pharmaceutical companies: AstraZeneca PLC; Baxter International Inc.; Eli Lilly & Co.; and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

The letters, which were described to Main Justice, said the agencies were focusing on the companies’ business in several countries, which varied by firm but included Brazil, China, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The names of the target countries and all but one of the companies have not been previously reported. At least two companies, and possibly more countries, could not be identified.

Spokespersons for Baxter, Eli Lilly, and Bristol-Myers did not respond to requests for comment. Tony Jewell, an AstraZeneca spokesman, said in a statement that the company is cooperating with the agencies but declined to comment further.

The letters are the first indication of the global sweep of the probe and the department’s willingness to engage the upper crust of the pharmaceutical industry using the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it illegal to pay foreign officials to obtain or keep business. The companies implicated in the investigation are all Fortune 500 companies and considered titans in the pharmaceutical world.

The Justice Department letter stated that the agency had information pointing to violations of the FCPA, while the SEC’s letter said investigators were still trying to determine whether the companies had broken the law. The difference suggests the department has information that it may not be able to share with the SEC, such as grand jury material.

To a large extent, health care in the countries of interest is state-run, and the Justice Department counts employees in such systems as foreign officials under the FCPA. Moreover, doctors’ salaries are typically lower in national programs, creating more demand for sweeteners and kickbacks.

“When you have millions and billions [of dollars in play], someone is getting some kickbacks somewhere. It’s low-hanging fruit, and that’s all there is to it,” said a defense lawyer who is representing one of the companies.

Several of the companies have revealed ongoing FCPA probes in SEC filings, but the disclosures are vague about the nature of the allegations. A recent client advisory by Arnold & Porter LLP said the Justice Department was investigating whether drug companies conducting foreign clinical trials are paying off third-party investigators to finesse research data.

Laura Sweeney, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, and SEC spokesman John Heine both declined to comment.

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Don't worry to much folks and pharma fans, I'm pretty sure the DOJ isn't all that serious about pressing any criminal changes after all. These corporate Bohemian Goliath's will probably just sign another CIA (corporate integrity agreement) that they have no intention of adhering too , pay the government a fist full of cash, and then go about doing their dirty business as usual.

I believe that how this dirty game is played, but maybe you should ask the spin devil himself,and contact Tony "The AZ man" Jewell on Twitter - http://twitter.com/Tonyjewell - for verification?

Now I have to start wondering who's behind about all those spam emails I receive "saying no prescription needed, order your Seroquel online now..............."

1 comment:

susan said...

Mr. Stan-

Award for you and the Penguins at my site. Thank you. It's something almost as cute as Koda.

BTW, the site looks much prettier, and easier to navigate. The gray is gorgeous.

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