At least a dozen major drug and device makers are under investigation by federal prosecutors and securities regulators in a broadening bribery inquiry into whether the companies made illegal payments to doctors and health officials in foreign countries. In previous investigations, federal officials have charged that some companies made these kinds of payments to encourage doctors abroad to order or prescribe their products.
U.K. pharmaceutical firms GlaxoSmithKline PLC and AstraZeneca PLC are facing a corruption investigation in the U.S. over claims that the hospitality lavished on those who prescribe their treatments could constitute bribery, The Independent newspaper in London reported Saturday, without citing sources.
The US Department of Justice is scrutinising payments by leading pharmaceuticals companies for hospitality, consultants, licensing agreements and charitable donations in markets around the world as part of a wide-ranging corruption probe. GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly, among others, have disclosed being contacted by the DoJ and Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the investigation.