The world's biggest insulin maker agreed to pay more than $18 million to U.S. authorities today for its role in the Iraqi Oil-for-Food Program, according to the Justice Department.
Denmark-based Novo Nordisk will pay Justice $9 million in penalties for making $1.4 million in illegal kickbacks to Saddam Hussein’s regime between 2001 and 2003. It will pay another $9 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission — $3 million in penalties and $6 million worth of disgorged profits.
Along with manufacturing insulin, the company also researches and develops diabetes medications. Like many companies involved in the Oil-for-Food scandal, the firm inflated the price of its Iraqi contracts by 10 %, listing the extra costs as “commission” fees. It paid the money to unnamed middle man, which then passed the kickback on to the Iraqi government.
In reaching its agreement with Justice, Novo Nordisk acknowledged its responsibility the improper payments. According to a criminal information filed today at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the company made about €22 million from the Oil-for-Food program.