Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX) said yesterday that it received an investigative subpoena from the California Dept. of Insurance last month over its ties to a specialty pharmacy, Philidor Rx Services. The company is facing allegations that it used Philidor to force customers to pay higher prices for its drugs.
The subpoena reportedly asked for materials such as documents regarding the Laval, Canada-based company’s relationship with Philidor and other California-based pharmacies, as well as tactics it used to market and distribute its products in California.
Reports surfaced last year that Valeant used Philidor to move past insurer reimbursement rejections of its drugs, as Philidor would resubmit claims to insurers until they were approved. The company said in a regulatory filing that it is cooperating with the investigation.
Valeant’s former CEO and CFO are also undergoing a criminal probe for potential accounting fraud related to Valeant’s ties to Philidor. Since the company’s relationship to Philidor was 1st disclosed last year, Valeant has cut all ties with the pharmacy, appointed new leadership, and conducted an internal review.
The news of the California insurance board’s subpoena comes 1 week after the Wall Street Journal reported that Valeant is exploring a sale of its eye surgery business that could be worth as much as $2.5 billion. While the process is still in early stages and may not even happen, the company is in discussions with 3rd parties for “various divestitures”, according to the newspaper. Valeant said it won’t give up the contact lenses, solutions and eye drugs that it acquired with its $9 billion purchase of Bausch & Lomb in 2013.
Yesterday, the FDA flagged Valeant for 5 violations of good manufacturing practices, corrective & preventive action and more for its small-particle aerosol generator, the SPAG-2 device, and a high-precision compound and dispensing pen, the OralPharma OnSet mixing pen.