GSK SEC Settlement Highlights Multi-Jurisdictional Enforcement Risk

Two years after the Chinese government fined GlaxoSmithKline $490 million for bribing health care practitioners there, the SEC has resolved FCPA charges with the company for $20 million for the same conduct. The settlement “does not refer to profit or gain figures, or tie the fine to such figures,” Gary DiBianco, a partner at Skadden, told The FCPA Report, which may mean the SEC took into account the Chinese government’s penalty. The DOJ declined to prosecute. The settlement is the latest in a series of FCPA actions against pharmaceutical companies. As a result of those investigations, compliance obligations negotiated as a part of settlements and proactive compliance improvements, anti-corruption programs in the pharmaceutical sector have evolved to be among the most sophisticated among all multinational corporations, DiBianco said. See also “Seven Lessons From China’s Bribery Investigation of GlaxoSmithKline” (Aug. 7, 2013). 

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