SciClone under scrutiny by SEC and DOJ for alleged Illegal Foreign Payments

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities Exchange Commission are investigating SciClone Pharmaceuticals International Ltd. for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Other pharma companies are also under investigation. SciClone itself disclosed the investigations in its quarterly report files with the SEC this week. The company says it received a subpoena requesting documents concerning interactions with regulators and government owned entities in China. The investigation is thought to be related to illicit payments by pharma companies to individuals in governments in various nations abroad. Last week, Merck & Co. disclosed that it had also received a similar letter from the DOJ. The nations mentioned in the letters include Brazil. China, Germany. Greece, Italy, Poland, Russia and Saudi Arabia. SciClone has been servicing a large demand in China for its drug Zadaxin, used in conjunction with the H1N1 virus.