Printer Friendly

WELLPOINT HIT WITH SUBPOENA TAP PHARMACEUTICALS RELATIONSHIP QUESTIONED.

Byline: Evan Pondel Staff Writer

THOUSAND OAKS - WellPoint Health Networks received a subpoena from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston, the company said Tuesday, regarding its relationship with TAP Pharmaceuticals.

The Thousand Oaks-based company would not disclose details about the subpoena, although Ken Ferber, a spokesman for WellPoint, said officials were simply ``looking for information.''

``And there are a number of other companies that were approached as well,'' he said.

TAP Pharmaceuticals manufactures Prevacid, a drug that has gained popularity among WellPoint's 13 million medical members because of its ability to effectively treat heartburn. But Ferber said it's difficult to track just how many WellPoint members actually take the drug.

TAP has come under federal scrutiny ever since the company reached an $875 million criminal and civil settlement last fall on charges it provided sales representatives with $40,000 worth of Lupron. The company allegedly used its prostate cancer drug to woo doctors to buy more of the product instead of less expensive alternatives.

``All of the companies that have been contacted for the investigation have been told they are not the target of the investigation,'' said Todd Richter, analyst with Banc of America Securities in New York.

Richter said the U.S. Attorney's Office was utilizing WellPoint's records to track which doctors had prescribed Lupron and Prevacid to WellPoint's members, ``nothing more.''

The U.S. Attorney's Office has also requested information from PacifiCare Health Systems, Inc. However, the Santa Ana-based company didn't specify whether the subpoena was related to TAP Pharmaceutical. The company did say in a statement that it received a similar subpoena in early 2000 and ``was advised it was not the target of the investigation.''

Amid the flurry of subpoenas Tuesday, PacifiCare shares were up $1.51, or 5.93 percent, to $26.98, while WellPoint Health Networks was down $1.62, or 2.25 percent, to $70.35.

Richter said WellPoint's less-than-stellar showing on Wall Street had little to do with the subpoena.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 15, 2002
Words:329
Previous Article:DAVIS SEEKS TAX HIKES DEFICIT PLAN CALLS FOR DOUBLING AUTO LICENSE FEES, RAISING CIGARETTE LEVY.
Next Article:BRIEFCASE SMTEK APPOINTS PRESIDENT, CEO.


Related Articles
WELLPOINT'S PROFIT PICTURE IN THE PINK.
CLINTON GETS SUBPOENA FROM STARR.
OVER-THE-COUNTER PLEA WELLPOINT BACKS NONPRESCRIPTION CLARITIN.
PacfiCare, WellPoint face questions on drug contracts. (Briefing).
MARYLAND: U.S. ATTORNEY SUBPOENAS RECORDS ON BID FOR CAREFIRST.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters