AstraZeneca to Pay $5.5 Million Neither Admit Nor Deny SEC FCPA Charges

AstraZeneca will pay $5.5 million to settle charges that it made improper payments to health care providers in Russia and China in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).


The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged that the pharmaceutical company failed to devise and maintain a sufficient system of internal accounting controls relating to the interactions of its China and Russia subsidiaries with government officials, the vast majority of whom were health care providers at state-owned and state-controlled entities in China and Russia.

Sales and marketing staff, along with multiple levels of management at the two AstraZeneca subsidiaries, designed and authorized several schemes to make improper payments of gifts, conference support, travel, cash and other benefits to health care providers to reward or influence their purchases of AstraZeneca pharmaceuticals.

Employees in the China subsidiary made cash payments to local officials to reduce or avoid fines that were levied against the China subsidiary.

AstraZeneca falsely recorded all of the improper payments by its China and Russia subsidiaries as bona fide business expenses in its consolidated financial statements.

The SEC said that while AstraZeneca did not self-report its violations it did provide “significant cooperation” to the SEC during the entire course of its investigation.

The SEC ordered the company to pay $4,325,000 in disgorgement, which represents profits gained as a result of the conduct, prejudgment interest of $822,000, and a civil money penalty of $375,000.

Copyright © Corporate Crime Reporter
In Print 48 Weeks A Year

Built on Notes Blog Core
Powered by WordPress