The Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating the pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline, for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Financial Times reported.
It has been known for months that the DOJ’s Criminal Fraud Section and the SEC are investigating several pharmaceutical companies for potential FCPA violations. But it has not been publicly known that Glaxo Smith Kline was one of companies under scrutiny.
In April, the DOJ and SEC sent letters to at least five other major pharmaceutical companies: AstraZeneca PLC; Baxter International Inc.; Eli Lilly & Co.; Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.; and Merck & Co
The letters, which were later described to Main Justice, said the agencies were focusing on the companies’ business in several countries, which varied by firm but included Brazil, China, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Russia and Saudi Arabia.
GlaxoSmithKline told FT that it had received “inquiries” from US authorities, but that it disclosed the issue only “reactively,” telling only a few reporters in April. However, the inquiry into the company was not disclosed in news reports at the time.
An industry attorney familiar with the probe told FT the Justice Department was looking at whether the companies had ignored a “systematic risk” inherent in the global drugs business, though it is not clear precisely what activity is under investigation.