Pfizer Inc has agreed to pay more than $60 million to settle investigations by the US Securities Exchange Commission and the US Department of Justice in connection with “potentially improper payments” made by units of Pfizer and Wyeth which Pfizer acquired in 2009 for $68 billion.

It is reported that Pfizer and its rival Johnson & Johnson, which itself settled a bribery investigation earlier this year, have provided US authorities with information about widespread industry practices that could violate the FCPA.

The Department of Justice has previously reported that Johnson & Johnson had received a $17 million discount on its $21.4 million criminal fine for “substantial assistance in the prosecution of others”.

This latest settlement is part of an industry focus by the SEC and the DOJ on the pharmaceutical and medical device industry globally (something which my colleague, Patrick Gilfillan, has previously blogged on), including financial arrangements with foreign doctors some of whom may be regarded as foreign public officials under the FCPA