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Valeant subpoenaed over patient assistance program, pricing

NEW YORK - Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) says that federal prosecutors are seeking information on the drug developer's drug pricing, distribution and patient assistance program.

The Canadian company said late Wednesday that it had recently received subpoenas from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

Chairman and CEO J. Michael Pearson said his company will cooperate with the federal inquiries.

Pearson said the company's employees believe in "maintaining strong regulatory and financial controls and believe we have operated our business in a fully compliant manner."

Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO defends Daraprim p... 03:32

Valeant said Wednesday that Pearson responded to a letter from Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, regarding the company's drugs Nitropress, which is used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, and Isuprel, used for breathing conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. He provided information on the drugs' pricing and reimbursement and process for hospital procedures involving the products, among other things.

House lawmakers in September asked Rep Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to issue a subpoena to Valeant.

Prescription drug price hikes have come under growing scrutiny. The focus intensified after The New York Times reported that the startup Turing Pharmaceuticals acquired the rights to a treatment for a rare parasitic infection that mainly strikes pregnant women and raised the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill. The New York attorney general said this week that his office is looking into Turing.

That drew criticism from patients, industry groups and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, among others. Turing's CEO, former hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli, said later that the price of the drug, Daraprim, would be reduced.

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