DaVita is facing a criminal investigation into its pharmaceutical billing practices by Nevadas attorney general, the national dialysis giant disclosed in its quarterly earnings report to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The El Segundo, Calif.-based company was contacted Oct. 17 by the office of Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, according to the SEC filing. The investigation relates to the companys billing of pharmaceuticals, including EPO, the filing states, referring to Epogen, an Amgen-made anemia drug thats the subject of other investigations of DaVitas practices in Missouri and Texas.
DaVita will cooperate with the investigation, company spokeswoman Stephanie Prial said in a written statement. Prial noted that the classification of the probe as criminal doesnt signal any particular gravity to the matter because the Nevada attorney general classifies all new investigations that way. Cortez Mastos office did not return calls requesting comment.
The use of Epogen in the dialysis industry has been a subject of interest to Congress and other authorities wondering whether reimbursement for the drug was driving overuse. -- by Gregg Blesch
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