Former Johnson & Johnson exec charged in Britain

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A former executive of a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary was on Tuesday charged with conspiracy to corrupt in connection with payments to Greek medical professionals, the Serious Fraud Office said.

Robert John Dougall, 44, former vice president for Market Development at DePuy International Ltd., was released on bail following an appearance in City of Westminster Magistrates Court.

“The allegation concerns the practice of making corrupt payments and /or giving other inducements to medical professionals working in the Greek public health care system in relation to the supply of orthopedic products between February 2002 and December 2005,” the Serious Fraud Office said.

The prosecuting agency gave no further details of the allegations.

Two years ago, Johnson & Johnson disclosed that foreign subsidiaries may have made improper payments related to the sale of medical devices.

The company, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, said it had voluntarily informed U.S. authorities about operations in “two small-market countries,” and said it was cooperating with investigators.

At that time, J&J also announced the immediate retirement of Michael J. Dormer, the corporate officer responsible for foreign subsidiaries.

Dormer was formerly president of DePuy International Ltd., a maker of spinal and joint reconstruction products which J&J acquired in 1998.

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