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AstraZeneca to pay £5.52 million to settle bribery probe

Published on 31/08/16 at 10:00am

According to US regulators, AstraZeneca is to pay $5.52 million to resolve a foreign bribery probe investigating payments made to officials at Chinese and Russian state-controlled healthcare providers stretching as far back as 2005 until 2010.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have issued an order detailing the pharmaceutical firm’s contraventions; the company is accused of failing to take adequate record financial interactions between its Chinese and Russian subsidiaries and government officials. The SEC has accused sales and marketing and management teams at AstraZeneca of authorising a number of schemes to make payments of gifts, conference support, travel, cash and other benefits with the intention of reward or influence purchases of its products.

Following this, sales staff at the Chinese subsidiary submitted fraudulent tax receipts with the intention of generating cash reimbursements, which were knowingly approved by management.

Employees at the Chinese subsidiary were also found to have made payments to local officials to avoid subsequent fines as a result of these actions. Finally, AstraZeneca is accused of falsely recording all of these payments as bona fide business expenses in its financial statements.

Matt Fellows

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