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US Regulators Seek Information On Pfizer's China Operations

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US Regulators Seek Information On Pfizer's China Operations

Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) in the SEC filing, disclosed that the U.S. stock market regulator and the Justice Department have informally sought information related to its operations in China.

What Happened: The initial request for information was made in June by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Unit. Two months later, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s FCPA division reached out to the pharma company with a similar request.

The FCPA is in charge of investigating suspicious payments to foreign officials, which could tantamount to bribery. The SEC FCPA is tasked with scrutinizing any suspicious payoffs by way of company stocks.

In March, the Justice Department’s Consumer Protection Branch demanded access to certain documents related to Pfizer’s manufacturing operations in India. A month later, the Attorney’s office from the Court for the Southern District Of New York contacted Pfizer regarding a civil investigation concerning facilities in India.

Why It Matters: In the past, Pfizer, along with its subsidiary Wyeth LLC collectively agreed to a $45 million settlement after the regulator charged the company for corrupt business practices. The SEC claims that illegal payments were made to foreign officials from many countries across Europe and Eurasia through its subsidiaries to obtain a favorable market position. China is also featured on this list. 

Pfizer is one of the frontrunners in developing a vaccine for COVID-19. Reports suggest that the pharma company could seek emergency approvals for its trial candidate in the U.S. by the end of November.

In July, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had provided $1.95 billion support to Pfizer for manufacturing and distributing 100 million vaccine doses in the Ul.S.

Price Action: PFE shares fell 1.52% to $36.39 on Thursday.

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia

 

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