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Does Your Company Pay Bribes in Foreign Countries? Now There's an App for That!

The Wall Street Journal's story on the industry-wide federal probe of drug-company corrupt practices in foreign countries -- bribes, basically -- is a possible sign of two things:

First, the Journal is playing catchup. Everything in the story was previously reported (you can start here and here if you want the history).

Second, the DOJ may be signaling via the WSJ that its probe is to be taken seriously. The DOJ has given off such signals this before. In 2009, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer warned Big Pharma that he was interested in the "prosecution of senior executives."

If you're interested in how the probe is coming along, you're in luck. Trace International maintains a marvelous database of alleged Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations disclosed by publicly traded companies. You can search for your employer here.

If you can't be bothered to do that, then here's BNET's handy cut-out-and-keep scorecard of the companies and countries the feds are looking at. Click through for the dull disclosure on Trace's site.

Company, Country, Specific Issues (if known)

  • AstraZeneca (AZN), Iraq, violations of U.N. oil for food program.
  • Baxter International (BAX), no disclosure as yet although unspecified violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act have been mentioned in two media reports.
  • Biomet (BMT), unspecified violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Germany, formal inquiry by DOJ; German charges resolved.
  • Depuy (a unit of Johnson & Johnson), China and Greece, payment of kickbacks to Greek doctors. Former director or marketing given 12 months in prison, later reduced to two years' suspended sentence.
  • Eli Lilly (LLY), Poland, unspecified violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
  • Eli Lilly, Korea, improper gifts and kickbacks to hospital staff.
  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Iraq, violations of U.N. oil for food program.
  • Medtronic (MDT), Greece, Poland, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Malaysia, payments to doctors.
  • Merck (MRK), U.S., non-specific "review." Merck says:
    1) the company has NOT been charged with any FCPA violation and is cooperating with the inquiry, 2) the inquiry is part of a broader review of the pharmaceutical industry practices, 3) Merck has an FCPA compliance program and our policy is to conduct our business in accordance with all applicable laws, including FCPA.
  • Pfizer (PFE), Korea, improper gifts and kickbacks to hospital staff.
  • Pfizer, Germany, tax issues.
  • Schering (acquired by Merck), Poland, improper payments to a cancer charity in 2002.
  • Schering (acquired by Merck), Vietnam, alleged kickback scheme to promote the Hepatitis C drug PegIntron.
  • Smith & Nephew, unspecified violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Iraq, violations of U.N. oil for food program.
  • GlaxoSmithKline, Korea, improper gifts and kickbacks to hospital staff.
  • SciClone (SCLN), China, unspecified violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
  • Zimmer (ZMH), unspecified violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Related: Image by Flickr user quaziefoto, CC.
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