American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced that it will be paying over $60 million to the US government as part of the settlement over allegations that it had paid bribes to doctors in Asia and Europe to boost sales.
Pfizer's settlement comes just over a year after Johnson & Johnson had agreed to pay $70 million following similar allegations.
According to Securities and Exchange Commission, Pfizer had paid bribes to doctors and health care officials in China, Russia, Croatia, Italy and other Eastern European countries and had hid the bribes by passing them off as travel, entertainment and marketing expenses.
Pfizer's general counsel, Amy Schulman said that the company had co-operated with the investigation and is the first company to voluntarily provide information to the Justice Department. "The actions which led to this resolution were disappointing, but the openness and speed with which Pfizer voluntarily disclosed and addressed them reflects our true culture and the real value we place on integrity and meeting commitments", Schulman said.