WASHINGTON, July 24, 2019— The World Bank today announced the 12-month debarment of the Institutional Family Planning Services Department, a business unit of Merck Sharp & Dohme B.V. (MSD B.V.), a Dutch pharmaceutical company, in connection with a fraudulent practice as defined by the World Bank’s Procurement Guidelines under the Bank-funded Health Sector Development Program in Bangladesh.
The debarment makes the MSD B.V. business unit ineligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects. It is part of a settlement agreement under which MSD B.V. does not admit or deny culpability for the misconduct.
The Health Sector Development Program, which closed in June 2017, was designed to enable Bangladesh to strengthen its health systems and improve its health services, particularly for the poor.
According to the facts of the case, the MSD B.V. business unit, in a bid for a contract to supply contraceptives through the project, failed to disclose the full commission amount that the Dutch predecessor of MSD B.V.– MSD Oss B.V. – had agreed to pay to its local agent. MSD Oss B.V. was ultimately awarded the contract.
The settlement agreement provides for a reduced period of debarment in light of MSD B.V.’s cooperation and voluntary remedial actions, including enhancements to its compliance program.