French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi will pay more than $25 million to settle US charges over bribery committed in Kazakhstan and the Middle East, US authorities announced Tuesday.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission said Sanofi employed a kickback system in Kazakhstan to win public contracts and increase prescriptions of its products.
In the Middle East, the company employed "pay-to-prescribe" schemes to induce healthcare providers to increase their prescriptions of Sanofi products, the agency said.
"Bribery in connection with pharmaceutical sales remains as a significant problem despite numerous prior enforcement actions," said Charles Cain an SEC enforcement official who leads the unit on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
"While bribery risk can impact any industry, this matter illustrates that more work needs to be done to address the particular risks posed in the pharmaceutical industry," Cain said.
The probe covered Sanofi and its affiliates in Kazakhstan, Jordan, Lebanon, Bahrein, Kuwait, Qatar, Yemen, Oman and the United Arab Emirates for activities between 2006 and 2015.
Sanofi did not admit or deny any wrongdoing.