May 8 Medical device maker Boston Scientific
Corp said it received a subpoena this week from the
Department of Health and Human Services seeking information
about the performance of some of its implanted defibrillators.
The subpoena, received on May 5, requested information
related to the 2008 launch of two brands of implanted
cardioverter defibrillators made by Boston Scientific, the
company said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.
Implantable cardioverter defibrillators, or ICDs, treat
arrhythmias by shocking a dangerously racing heartbeat back into
a normal rhythm.
The subpoena was issued by the Office of the Inspector
General of the HHS, which is responsible for identifying fraud
and waste in government health programs such as the Medicare and
Boston Scientific, which competes with Medtronic Inc
and St. Jude Medical Inc in selling ICDs, said it is
cooperating with the request.
The industry has come under increased scrutiny in recent
years for allegedly using kickbacks to gain market share and
increase the use of their devices among physicians.
Earlier this week, St. Jude Medical said it received a civil
investigative demand from the U.S. Department of Justice in
April related to its cardiac devices.
The Justice Department is investigating if St. Jude paid
inducements to health care providers in exchange for implanting
its devices, the company said in a filing this week.
Last October, Boston Scientific agreed to pay $30 million to
settle Department of Justice allegations that the Guidant unit
it acquired in 2006 knowingly sold defective heart devices
implanted in Medicare patients.
(Reporting by Supriya Kurane in Bangalore; Editing by Matt