Pfizer Says U.S. Has Requested Information on China Operations

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Pfizer Inc. has received informal requests from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice for information on its China operations, according to a regulatory filing dated Nov. 5.

The New York-based drugmaker said the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act unit within the SEC asked for information on its business in China in August. The same unit within the Department of Justice made a similar request in June, which was disclosed in a previous filing.

Pfizer said in the filing it was producing records in accordance with the request, but didn’t elaborate further. Trupti Deepak Wagh, a Pfizer spokeswoman in Singapore, declined to comment beyond the filing.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is an anti-bribery law enacted in 1977 that prohibits payments to foreign officials to win business. In 2012, Pfizer paid about $60 million to U.S. authorities to settle bribery cases it found among operations in eastern Europe, China and the Middle East.

China has been considered a big growth market for global pharmaceutical companies. But the multinationals have faced challenges amid tightened regulations and heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington, as well as China’s efforts to boost its own generic drugmakers.

In 2014, British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Plc was fined about $489 million by Chinese regulators for bribery.

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