Monday, November 21, 2011

Pfizer to settle US bribery charges for over $60 mln -WSJ | Reuters

Nov 20 (Reuters) - Pfizer Inc has agreed to pay more than $60 million to settle an investigation by U.S. regulators into whether the drugmaker paid bribes to win business abroad, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. Justice Department announced in November 2009 that it would focus on prosecuting those in the pharmaceutical industry who try to bribe foreign officials for preferential treatment of their products, leading to a wide-ranging probe.

In its quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Nov. 10, Pfizer said it had reached agreements in principle with the SEC staff and the Justice Department.

It did not specify how much it had agreed to pay to resolve the matter, but said it planned to announce final agreements in the fourth quarter.

Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $78 million to settle similar U.S. and UK charges earlier this year.

A Department of Justice spokeswoman declined to comment. Officials at Pfizer and the SEC could not immediately be reached for comment.

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