Another company, Bio-Rad, just settled with both the Department of Justice (DoJ) and Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), which involved a payment of $55 million.
Life science pharmaceutical and medical device companies have been the target of government scrutiny because in most foreign countries, the purchase of these products is controlled by a “foreign official” as defined in FCPA.
Paul Hastings, the law firm, prepared a helpful article on this recent case and the derivative regulatory and legal actions typically resulting from a settlement.
“As of last year, approximately one out of every four FCPA investigations involved a life sciences company.”
“Given the U.S. government’s continued FCPA enforcement efforts, as well as the ongoing risk of related shareholder litigation and rapidly evolving threat of so-called “carbon copy” foreign prosecutions, it remains imperative that pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies be even more proactive in ensuring compliance with the FCPA and other anti-corruption laws.”
This is a challenging issue for companies who use independent distributors in international markets but merits careful management attention to avoid being another example.
For those who would like more on this topic, I recommend a series of articles, so far, Parts I though III, by Thomas Fox in his “FCPA Compliance and Ethics Updates” on JDSupra, the online legal source (Click here for Part I).