An Overview of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for Healthcare Companies

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This article was contributed by ILN member firm Epstein Becker & Green.

The globalization of healthcare has resulted in U.S. healthcare companies working with government agencies and government healthcare systems in foreign countries, the officers, employees, and agents of which may be classified as “foreign officials” under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). This business relationship with government-owned and government-controlled entities and foreign officials creates a potentially high level of exposure to violations of the FCPA. As recent enforcement actions and investigations demonstrate, the healthcare industry is not exempt from prosecution for FCPA violations. U.S. healthcare companies need to be aware of and understand the impact the FCPA has on doing business around the world and should view FCPA compliance in the same light as they view healthcare fraud and abuse compliance. FCPA anti-bribery prosecutions and enforcement actions rose from five in 2004 to thirty-eight in 2007.1

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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