By Anjali Athavaley
Allergan Inc. (AGN) received a subpoena this month from the Department of Health and Human Services requesting documents related to the company's Lap-Band System for obesity, according to a filing.
Lap-Band is approved to help obese patients lose weight. It is inserted surgically through a small incision and placed at the top of the stomach. The inflatable band can be tightened or loosened to reduce or enlarge stomach capacity.
An Allergan spokeswoman declined to comment further.
Earlier this month, Allergan said its first-quarter earnings rose 45% on double-digit sales growth in its specialty-pharmaceuticals business. But sales in Allergan's obesity intervention category slipped 15.5% as high unemployment, lofty co-payments and rigid requirements from insurers pressured sales.
Last December, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned nine groups, mostly surgical centers in California, that if they continue misleading advertising for Lap-Band, they could face monetary penalties and have inventory seized. The FDA made no allegations against Allergan at the time.
Allergan shares were up fractionally to $93.79 in after-hours trading Monday. The stock is up nearly 7% so far this year.
-By Anjali Athavaley, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-4912; [email protected]