Alexion Pharma to pay $21 million fine for paying bribes in Russia and Turkey

On July 2, 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that Boston – based Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. agreed to pay more than $ 21 million to settle charges of violating the accounting and internal control provisions of the foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Wall Street Jornal reported.

According to the SEC, two Alexion subsidiaries made payments to foreign government officials in order to ensure the promotion of their main drug Soliris ® (SOLIRIS ® ).

For example, from 2010 to 2015, Alexion Turkey paid Turkish government officials to provide favorable regulation for Soliris ® and to issue additional prescriptions. From 2011 to 2015, Alexion Russia made payments to Russian health officials in order to provide a favorable regulatory regime, increase the number of prescriptions issued, and allocate budget funds for the purchase of SOLIRIS ® .

Alexion Russia and Alexion Turkey did not reflect these payments in their books and Alexion’s internal accounting control could not detect and prevent this.

Alexion in Brazil and Colombia did not keep accurate records in their books regarding payments to organizations that protect the rights of patients.

Alexion, without admitting or refuting the SEC’s findings, agreed to refrain from violating the FCPA, accounting and accounting regulations and pay a $ 21 million fine.

SOLIRIS ® is an immunosuppressive agent with the active substance eculizumab. It is indicated for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria.

In Russia, the drug was registered on November 11, 2011, the owner of the registration certificate is the Swiss division of “Alexion Pharma GmbH”. The drug is produced in Ireland and Italy.

Earlier, reported that pharmacists from the United States were accused of bribes to promote a drug for rheumatism. Allegedly, the pharmaceutical giant gave illegal kickbacks to medical service providers so that patients were more often prescribed the drug “Humira” (Humira), which is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.