New Briefs for Merck, Gilead Sciences and Well Fargo (NYSE:MRK),(NASDAQ:GILD),(NYSE:WFC)


Latest news briefs include Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) under federal investigation, Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) may get warning from FDA, and Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) has court order to pay its customers.

Merck (NYSE:MRK) and SciClone (NASDAQ:SCLN) have become the latest targets of ongoing federal investigations intended to curtail direct and indirect payments to foreign officials by companies with a substantial U.S. presence. The investigations, launched by U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, are examining potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a law prohibiting foreign bribery in business and instituting accounting record-keeping requirements intended to detect and prevent such illegal payments. Since April, the agencies have contacted AstraZeneca (AZN), Baxter (BAX), Lilly (LLY), and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY). Merck added its name to the list of companies contacted on August 6, saying it had also received inquiries from the SEC and DOJ regarding its activities in “a number of countries” and that it believes that the inquiry is “part of a broader review of pharmaceutical industry practices in foreign countries.” – Seeking Alpha

Maintenance and procedural problems at a Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) manufacturing and distribution facility could land the HIV drug maker a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday, Foster City-based Gilead said a routine FDA inspection of its San Dimas facility in February raised concerns from the agency about maintenance of aseptic processing conditions in the manufacturing area for its AmBisome anti-fungal product. The agency also cited environmental maintenance issues in the warehouse, batch sampling and the timeliness of completion of annual product quality reports. - San Francisco Business Times

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) was ordered to pay more than $200 million in restitution to California customers for manipulating and multiplying overdraft fees, a federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup of Northern California, in his 90-page ruling Tuesday, said Wells Fargo used "a bookkeeping device" that turned one instance of overdrawing an account into as many as 10, allowing the bank to multiply the number of fees it could collect from a single mistake.  "The bank went to considerable effort to hide these manipulations while constructing a facade of phony disclosure," he said. The ruling said Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500) must pay $203 million in restitution to California customers for its liberal use of $35 overdraft fees. This is a fraction of the $1.8 billion in overdraft fees that the bank collected in California from 2005 to 2007, according to the court. "The revenue generated from these fees has been massive," wrote the judge. The ruling concluded a two-week bench trial that ended May 7. – CNN

News briefs...  Keeping it brief so you can be informed quickly.  - WSN Staff

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