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All things Pharma

The Bribery Act and the Pharma Industry

The Bribery act comes into force later this year. It overhauls the UK’s archaic corruption laws, replacing them with one of the strictest pieces of anticorruption legislation in the world – the objective being to curb corporate corruption and create a new corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery.

The Act introduces four offences:

· Making a bribe

· Accepting a bribe

· Bribing a foreign public official

· Failing to prevent bribery at a corporate level

Sufficient control mechanisms will need to be in place to ensure company staff are complying with the Act otherwise company officers will be criminally liable.

Luckily, in the case of the Pharma Industry, the ABPI Code of Practise sets out clearly what is allowed and not allowed in terms of financial inducements. However, further clarity and transparency is required. For example, the intent to give a bribe is sufficient to constitute making a bribe, in offence 1 above, and organisations should have sufficient measures in place to prevent bribery from taking place, for offence 4 above.

Against the backdrop of the pharma industry being under the magnifying glass, the ABPI voted to change the ABPI Code and the new Code of Practice came into effect on the 1st Jan 2011. There are various views on what this will mean for the pharma industry. Clearly some good will result, such as increased confidence in the industry and greater transparency. However, it will mean greater competition and other negative outcomes.

Dr R K Powar has over ten years experience in the pharmaceutical industry and provides a range of tailored programmes to help staff improve on their Softer S’s skill base.

Email: r11osyconsultants@yahoo.co.uk

LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/r11osyconsultants

Twitter: @ravipowar

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