Friday, August 13, 2010

Devastatingly-Well-Sourced FCPA Article: On Merck, In Vietnam

That gentleman Jim Edwards, at B|net Pharma wrote an excellent piece earlier this week on this topic -- but due to Merck's belly-aching (Ron Rogers, do you recognize yourself here?), it got spiked (it credited my blog). Now it's back -- with direct links to the source material [and at my suggestion, no less]. It is fabulous.

It is devastatingly precise, and it is very fair. Well done, Jim! Again, do go read it all -- but here's a snippet:

. . . .Despite its public assurances and FCPA compliance programs, Merck nevertheless may have significant exposure in the investigation. The biggest source of vulnerability may be Schering-Plough, which Merck acquired in 2009. One ominous sign is that Schering-Plough has already been named in connection with an alleged foreign kickback scheme to promote the Hepatitis C drug PegIntron in Vietnam.

Schering-Plough stands accused of offering Vietnamese doctors a kickback of 10 to 30 percent of the medicine’s price, according to Vietnam’s English-language press. Vietnam’s Health Ministry investigated those reports, and in March 2010, the prime minister demanded penalties be imposed on Schering for paying monthly commissions of $26,300 to doctors who prescribed PegIntron. One doctor at a medical school was rumored, according to the local press, to also be a marketing director at Schering.

As Schering’s new parent, Merck assumes responsibility for any missteps Schering made prior to its acquisition. . . .

Indeed -- well-put, Jim.

1 comment:

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