U.S. prosecutors investigating Valeant Pharmaceuticals

October 16, 2015

Canadian drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals recently acknowledged that U.S. prosecutors have subpoenaed documents on its drug pricing.

Canadian drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals recently acknowledged that U.S. prosecutors have subpoenaed documents on its drug pricing.

Valeant is one of several drug manufacturers that have come under criticism for hiking the prices of old drugs. The prices for some specialty drugs have even become an issue in the 2016 presidential race (Rising Rx prices front and center in presidential campaign).

Valeant received one subpoena from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts and another from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, according to a report by the Associated Press.

J. Michael Pearson, Valeant’s chairman and CEO, said the company will cooperate with federal authorities and that it believes it has “operated our business in a fully compliant manner."

In February, Valeant bought the heart drugs Nitropress (nitroprusside) and Isuprel (isoproterenol) from Marathon Pharmaceuticals. It promptly raised Isuprel's price from $215 to $1,346 per vial and Nitropress from $257.80 to $805.61 per vial.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) had previously asked Valeant for documents concerning Isuprel and Nitropress. However, the company refused to provide them, calling them "highly proprietary and confidential."  

Additionally, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) recently sent Valeant a letter with 22 questions regarding its pricing, drug revenues, and production costs. Valeant said the questioned price increases reflected the value of those drugs to hospitals and patients.