Medical devices companies bribing government doctors in many countries to buy product. Prosecutions afoot

Biomet Inc, maker of orthopedic products recently agreed to pay $22 million in penalties to settle U.S. allegations that it bribed doctors in Brazil, Argentina and China to purchase their medical products. The company set up subsidiaries in those nations to pay cash to the publicly employed doctors paying them between 10-20 percent of the value of the medical devices purchased. These actions are in direct violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a 1977 law prohibiting improper payments to foreign officials or their agents in exchange for Business. Biomet is not the only U.S. medical device company engaged in foreign bribes and is now the third such company to enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice for such activities. Johnson and Johnson agreed to pay $70 million to settle allegations that it paid bribes to Greek doctors who chose its surgical implants. It also bribed doctors in Poland and Romania in exhcnage for agreements to prescribe the company’s drugs. Smith & Nephew PLC paid $22.2 million based on allegation of $9 million in bibes to Greek health providers. Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.