Italians arrested in pay-for-approval scandal

There's another corruption scandal brewing in Italy--this time involving a pay-to-play scheme at AIFA, the pharma regulatory agency. Authorities arrested Pasqualino Rossi, Aifa's vice president and a senior rep at the E.U. regulatory body, the European Medicines Agency, after a two-year investigation. At issue: licenses for about 30 meds (as yet unidentified by authorities, but many of them are believed to be generics). Allegedly, drugmakers or their representatives bribed regulators to accept falsified clinical data and approve their products.

According to PharmaTimes, five drug-company lobbyists were also arrested. Among them were people "linked" to Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline, Italy's La Repubblica newspaper is reporting. Both companies vehemently deny direct involvement, however. Bayer says that the investigation had looped in some "collaborators" whose behavior Bayer had no knowledge of. "We will cooperate...with the investigating authorities," the company's Italian spokesman said. A GSK spokesman said neither the company nor any of its associates were involved. "The claims are completely untrue," he said.

- read the story at PharmaTimes