Pharmaceutical Companies Resolve DOJ and SEC FCPA Charges


On August 7, the DOJ and the SEC announced the resolution of FCPA allegations against Pfizer Inc. (Pfizer) and two of its subsidiaries, Pfizer H.C.P. and Wyeth LLC. The DOJ announced that it filed a criminal information in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, as well as a deferred prosecution agreement pursuant to which Pfizer H.C.P. admitted to making improper payments to public officials in Russia and other eastern European countries in attempts to influence decisions to approve and register certain pharmaceutical products. Pfizer H.C.P. must pay a $15 million penalty, but the agreement acknowledges Pfizer’s efforts to investigate and self-report the matter, as well as the company’s “significant cooperation” and extensive remedial efforts. Civil charges brought by the SEC through separate complaints against Pfizer and Wyeth involve similar allegations regarding the companies’ conduct in numerous countries. While Wyeth neither admitted nor denied the SEC allegations, the two parties resolved the cases by agreeing to pay a combined $45 million, committing to certain remedial actions, and reporting to the SEC. Like the DOJ, the SEC notes Pfizer’s voluntary disclosure and cooperation. The SEC complaints and the DOJ deferred prosecution agreements are available on BuckleySandler’s FCPA Score Card.


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