Pfizer subpoenaed in U.S. over patient assistance plans

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By Deena Beasley

<span class="articleLocation”>Pfizer Inc said it received subpoenas
from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of
Massachusetts related to its support for organizations that
provide financial help to Medicare patients.

“Pfizer is among a number of companies that have received
subpoenas regarding this matter,” the New York-based company
said in an emailed statement on Friday.

Drugmakers including Valeant Pharmaceuticals International
Inc and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc have
disclosed involvement in similar government investigations.

In a regulatory filing on Thursday, Pfizer said the December
2015 and July 2016 subpoenas were related to groups that help
cover patient co-payments for prescription drugs.

Medicare is the U.S. government healthcare plan for seniors.

As aggressive price increases for certain prescription
medications have drawn the ire of politicians and the healthcare
industry, concern has grown that donations made by
pharmaceutical companies to patient assistance groups may be
contributing to the price inflation.

“We support initiatives, including co-pay foundations, to
help patients most in need gain access to medicines,” Pfizer
said. “We strive to follow government guidelines associated with
any contributions we make.”

Pfizer said it has been providing information to the
government in response to the subpoenas.



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