Well, I guess you could just call it a rewards club, and Pfizer isn't admitting or denying any of the charges, but they will pony up over $60 million in fines for allegedly bribing foreign doctors and clinicians with gifts and cash in return for prescribing their drugs.
Supposedly it worked like this: in China, doctors earned "rewards points" each time they prescribed Pfizer's medications, which they could trade in for prizes like tea sets and cell phones. This goes above and beyond the traditional pharma swag - and I'm sure it wasn't branded - that would make it traceable. In fact, they typically used a subsidiary to run the operation.
In some countries, like Croatia, the alleged payoffs came in the form of cash and dinners out, which got billed in the books under travel and business expenses.
In a way, I wouldn't blame them. Corruption is a way of life in some countries. Maybe they were just playing by the local rules. You know - when in Rome.... And chances are some of their competitors are doing the same thing. They're not the first American pharma company to be caught doing this, and I'm sure they won't be the last.