Big Pharma bribing its way into foreign countries

Despite the fact that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits payments to foreign officials or their agents to get business, the evidence indicates that large pharmaceutical companies, publicly traded on U.S. stock exchanges, are paying bribes to foreign officials through subsidiaries which they set up around the world. Because these companies are publicly traded, they fall within the jurisdiction of the Securities & Exchange Commission and Dodd-Frank Act gives whistleblowers incentives to bring information forward on foreign bribes. In a more recent case in which a drug maker was caught making bribes overseas, Eli Lilly was charged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission because its subsidiaries made improper payments to foreign government officials to win millions of dollars in business in Brazil, China, Poland and Russia. A Lilly subsidiary in Russia used offshore marketing agreements to pay more than $7 million to third parties chosen by government customers or distributors. Many of the whistleblowers who come forward are employees who are fired or mis-treated by the companies. They stand to make 30% of what the SEC recovers, which can include penalties. Lilly agreed to pay more than $29 million to settle the SEC charges. In Brazil, the Lilly subsidiary allowed a distributor to pay bribes to government health officials to facilitate $1.2 million in sales of Lilly drugs to state government institutions. In addition to Lilly, Pfizer paid $60 million to settle allegations; Johnson & Johnson was fined $70 million for bribing public doctos in several European countries and paying kickbacks to Iraq to obtain business. In addition it paid bribes to public doctors in Greece who chose J&J surgical implants; public doctors in Poland who awarded it contracts and in Romania to prescribe J & J meds. Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.