KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

CVS Caremark To Pay $20 Million To Settle SEC Charges

The Securities and Exchange Commission had alleged that CVS did not tell investors ahead of a 2009 bond offering that it had lost "significant" Medicare Part D revenue. Elsewhere, two drugmakers are ordered to pay $9 billion in damages for failing to disclose the cancer risks for Actos, a diabetes drug.

Los Angeles Times: CVS Caremark To Pay $20 Million To Settle SEC Charges
CVS Caremark Corp., the country's second-largest pharmacy chain, has agreed to pay $20 million to settle charges that it misled investors and used improper accounting techniques to artificially boost its financial earnings, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced Tuesday. … According to the SEC, CVS had conducted a $1.5-billion bond offering in 2009 but did not tell investors that it had recently lost "significant" Medicare Part D and contract revenues in its pharmacy benefits business segment (Lopez, 4/8).

The Wall Street Journal: CVS To Pay $20 Million To Settle SEC Allegations
CVS allegedly further misled investors on an earnings call that same day by maintaining there was a slight improvement in its "retention rate," the SEC claimed, saying the drugstore chain omitted changes to how it calculated the rate. The SEC also claimed the company made improper accounting adjustments that overstated the financial results for its retail pharmacy business. Those adjustments were tied to CVS's treatment for its acquisition of another drug-store chain, Longs Drugs Stores (Kell, 4/8).

Los Angeles Times: Takeda And Eli Lilly Ordered To Pay $9 Billion Over Actos Drug
A federal jury awarded a combined $9 billion in punitive damages against Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. Inc. and Eli Lilly & Co. after it found that the drug makers did not disclose cancer risks for their diabetes medicine, Actos (Li, 4/8).

And demand for robotic surgery softens --

The Wall Street Journal: Intuitive Surgical Earnings Fall As Robot Demand Softens
Intuitive Surgical, which is expected to report earnings April 22, has struggled over the past year as doctors took a more conservative approach toward performing some minimally invasive procedures. Concerns about the safety and cost-effectiveness of the company's robots have also hurt sales, analysts said (Walker and Stynes, 4/8).

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