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SEC, DoJ Beef Up Investigation of Corporate Bribery & Corruption Overseas

Executive Summary

Pharma companies have been battered by government and congressional investigations of their domestic marketing practices. They now face increased scrutiny on another front as the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are stepping up their investigation of corporate corruption and bribery abroad

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Legal & Regulatory News, In Brief

Merck, SciClone join companies under Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation: Merck and SciClone reported in recent 10-Q filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the Department of Justice and the SEC are investigating their activities overseas to determine if they were in compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Merck said the DoJ and SEC are seeking information about its activities in a number of countries and SciClone said the agencies are investigating the "sale, licensing and marketing of its products in foreign countries, including China." Last year several companies, including Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca, reported they were under investigation for possible violations of the FCPA, which prohibits U.S. companies from bribing foreign officials for government contracts and other business (1"The Pink Sheet," Aug. 31, 2009)

Legal & Regulatory News, In Brief

Merck, SciClone join companies under Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation: Merck and SciClone reported in recent 10-Q filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the Department of Justice and the SEC are investigating their activities overseas to determine if they were in compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Merck said the DoJ and SEC are seeking information about its activities in a number of countries and SciClone said the agencies are investigating the "sale, licensing and marketing of its products in foreign countries, including China." Last year several companies, including Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca, reported they were under investigation for possible violations of the FCPA, which prohibits U.S. companies from bribing foreign officials for government contracts and other business (1"The Pink Sheet," Aug. 31, 2009)

Corporate Compliance Programs Are Often Inadequate To Avoid Foreign Corruption Investigations, DoJ Official Says

Pharmaceutical companies have spent a vast amount of resources bolstering their compliance programs in the wake of government investigations of their domestic marketing practices. But their procedures may be insufficient to detect corruption and bribery abroad

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