The Penumbra of the United States' Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: Brazil's Clean Companies Act and Implications for the Pharmaceutical Industry
Richmond Journal of Global Law & Business, Vol. 13:3, 2014
30 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2014
Date Written: November 7, 2014
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), enacted in 1977, signaled a major philosophical shift in the United States regarding the acceptability of the common business practice of bribing foreign officials. Nonetheless, the reality of such business dealings worldwide did not change until very recently, when the consequences of ignoring the law became subject to enormous fines levied by the Department of Justice (DOJ). No doubt, the FCPA has inspired international efforts to eradicate corruption, national efforts to enshrine anti-bribery concepts in law, and serious efforts to enforce those laws. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Convention and the recent U.K. Anti-Bribery law reflect this trend, albeit with mixed success. Not surprisingly, many observers have remained cynical and doubt whether countries with an entrenched culture of corruption would ever change. This article examines Brazil’s surprising decision to enact its Clean Companies Law, thereby ending the country’s official tolerance of corruption and adding its name to the short list of countries that have taken major steps to change the business culture. It looks at this through the lens of the pharmaceutical industry, considering the preliminary groundwork for the law as established through industry and country codes. Finally this article concludes with some assessments of the efficacy of these efforts and recommendations for regulatory changes.
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