Pfizer pays $60 million to U.S. government over bribe charges

  • Drug firm Pfizer has paid the American government $60 million to settle allegations it paid millions of dollars in bribes to increase business in Europe and China.

    According to court filings, employees made the payoffs to assure sales contracts for Pfizer products.

    Healthcare officials were "improperly rewarded", the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said.

    "Pfizer subsidiaries in several countries had bribery so entwined in their sales culture that they offered points and bonus programs to improperly reward foreign officials who proved to be their best customers," said Kara Brockmeyer, chief of the SEC's foreign enforcement division, which made the accusations.

    The U.S. drugs giant has not admitted any guilt.

    The countries involved are Bulgaria, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia and Serbia.