Bristol-Myers Squibb announced in a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week that the Department of Justice has ended its investigation into allegations that the pharmaceutical giant violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Earlier this month, Bristol-Myers Squibb reached a $14 million settlement with the SEC for FCPA violations relating to certain sales and marketing practices in China. According to the SEC's order instituting the administrative proceeding, Bristol-Myers Squibb's joint venture in China made cash payments and provided other benefits to health care providers at state-owned and state-controlled hospitals in exchange for prescription sales, reaping more than $11 million in profits from its misconduct. Bristol-Myers Squibb lacked effective internal controls over interactions with health care providers at BMS China, its majority-owned joint venture.
Between 2009 and 2014, BMS China sales representatives sought to secure and increase business by providing health care providers in China with cash, jewelry and other gifts, meals, travel, entertainment, and sponsorships for conferences and meetings. BMS China inaccurately recorded the spending as legitimate business expenses in its books and records, which were then consolidated into the books and records of Bristol-Myers Squibb.
In its latest Form 10-Q, dated Oct. 27, the company said it “has also been advised by the Department of Justice that it has closed its inquiry into this matter.”