U.S. drops lawsuit against Apotex

From CNNMoney:

The U.S. government has dropped its lawsuit alleging that Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex paid bribes to doctors in countries including the United States to win business.

The Harper government, under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, also reached a plea deal with Apotex to pay a fine and face criminal charges if it violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

“Apotex’s participation in cooperating with law enforcement in this case has significantly assisted them in their investigations and the company has agreed to resolve this matter through a settlement of this agreement,” a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Justice said in an e-mailed statement.

The U.S. government dropped its lawsuit “to take a proactive approach to raising awareness about the F.C.P.A.,” said a Justice Department spokeswoman. “The U.S. government’s investigation of Apotex remains ongoing and Apotex will continue to face U.S. criminal charges if the company continues to violate the F.C.P.A.”

Federal prosecutors have accused Apotex of paying hundreds of millions of dollars to doctors in 11 countries, including the United States, over several decades, to provide them with bribes to prescribe its drugs and to conceal their payments from law enforcement officials and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The allegations, which were contained in a racketeering suit, were first published in November 2013.

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