U.S. says foreign bribery by big drug makers widespread in emerging markets: penalties harsher

Global drug manufacturers are shelling out millions of dollars to settle allegations that they are bribing their way into emerging markets a practice that is in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) . Harsher penalties are being implemented to deter the practices says the Department Of Justice. Eight of the top 10 drug makers including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson have disclosed U.S. probes under the 1977 FCPA. Pfizer agreed to pay $60 million this year to settle FCPA charges and J&J paid $70 million last year. Latin American business practices encourage bribes and the pharmaceutical makers are intensely interested in entering these markets as well as those in China and other developing nations. The largest FCPA penalty was $800 million paid by Germany based Siemens in 2008.