Pfizer settles bribery charge

Pfizer has agreed to pay $60.2m (£38.5m) to settle a US government probe of the drugmaker's use of illegal payments to win business overseas, American government officials said yesterday. The settlement is part of a crackdown on bribery by multinationals that has hit several of the world's biggest pharmaceutical firms. Pfizer became the first pharmaceutical company to volunteer information to the Justice Department in 2004, but the case has taken years to resolve. Last year, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $70m to settle US charges that it paid bribes and kickbacks to win business in Greece, Iraq, Poland and Romania, the first such settlement by a big drug firm.