Johnson & Johnson under Justice Department Scrutiny for Funding Iraqi Terrorism

August 6, 2018  Source: FiercePharma 151

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After the disclosure from AstraZeneca that it’s under Justice Department scrutiny for illegally funding Iraqi terrorism, Roche and Johnson & Johnson revealed similar inquiries from the agency.

The federal prosecutors have started their own investigation by getting in touch with the companies after the lawsuit accusation. J&J said in its second-quarter SEC filing, “Also, the company has received an inquiry from the United States Department of Justice regarding the matters set out in the complaint.”

Similarly, a Roche spokeswoman confirmed, “Roche has received an inquiry from and is cooperating with the Department of Justice on this matter.”

Over 100 U.S. veterans and their families brought the initial lawsuit last October. They claimed that Roche, J&J, GE Healthcare, AstraZeneca and Pfizer bribed terrorists to win pharmaceutical and medical device contracts in Iraq.

Pfizer didn’t respond at once to this comment and has not filed its quarterly documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission. When the lawsuit was filed, a Pfizer spokesperson said “the company categorically denies any wrongdoing.” Since GE Healthcare is in the process of becoming a standalone company, it had not replied in its second-quarter regulatory filing. Same way, J&J also maintained silence in this regard.

The spokesperson from AstraZeneca said, “the company has a robust and dynamic compliance program, and we refuse to tolerate bribery or any other form of corruption.”

The litigants claimed that the bribes go as far back as during Saddam Hussein’s regime and that the payments continued after the collapse of Saddam’s government when the ministry was shifted to the Shiite terrorist group. The suspicious payment pattern involves the supply of drugs and medical equipment to ministry officials free of charge in order to resell the products on the black market.

By Ddu
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