A spokeswoman at 248-bed Lahey Clinic Hospital, Burlington, Mass., declined to comment on a Boston Globe report citing grand jury testimony that the hospital continued to order prostate drug Lupron from TAP Pharmaceutical Products, Lake Forest, Ill., although it was far costlier than an equally effective rival because of financial incentives. According to Sunday's Globe, former TAP employees told prosecutors that Lahey officials solicited grants, donations and funding for golf tournaments, seminars and parties from TAP sales representatives in return for continued purchases of Lupron. TAP allegedly sponsored contests offering gift certificates to Lahey staffers who converted the most patients to higher doses of Lupron. Lahey spokeswoman Rose Lewis would not disclose whether the hospital or its staff have been subpoenaed for documents or testimony in the case. "It's important to note that this is an investigation of TAP Pharmaceutical, not Lahey Clinic," Lewis said. "We're doing our part to cooperate with the U.S. attorney." TAP paid $885 million in 2001 to settle civil and criminal charges that it paid kickbacks to physicians for prescribing Lupron and taught them to bill Medicare for free samples of the drug. -- by Mark Taylor
Allegations tie Lahey Clinic to TAP case
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