US: Feds subpoena Baxter employee over national shortage of IV solutions

The federal government has subpoenaed a Baxter International employee as part of a criminal investigation related to a nationwide shortage of intravenous saline solution, the Deerfield-based company revealed last Friday.

The subpoena asks for documents about the pricing, sale, manufacture and shortage of intravenous solutions, including saline solution, which is used in IVs to hydrate patients, and other injectable medications. It also seeks Baxter’s communications with competitors over the issue, according to a regulatory filing.

The subpoena was issued by a federal court on behalf of the US Department of Justice’s antitrust division, but Baxter did not disclose the name of the employee who received the subpoena.

Baxter said in a statement that it “cannot speculate” on the reasons for the subpoena but it looks “forward to explaining to the Department the background and history of these issues.”

Baxter is also currently facing a class-action lawsuit, along with Hospira, alleging they conspired to hold down the supply of intravenous saline solution and fix or raise prices of the product. Baxter and Hospira control about 90 percent of the $1.2 billion a year IV saline solution market in the US, according to the lawsuit, which was filed by hospitals in New York and Pennsylvania, among others.

Full Content: Chicago Tribune

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