Baxter Faces Federal Criminal Inquiry Into IV Saline Sales

By Emma Court Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Baxter International Inc. said on Friday that the Justice Department's Antitrust Division was pursuing a criminal investigation into sales practices of intravenous saline, including those sold by Baxter. One of Baxter's employees got a grand jury subpoena on Wednesday as part of the investigation, the company said in its 8-K financial filing. Baxter said it is cooperating with the Justice Department on the investigation. The company told MarketWatch that it "has remained a continuous supplier of IV solutions and has made extraordinary efforts to maximize the availability of these critical products," adding that it believes it has priced these products responsibly. The Justice Department would not confirm nor deny the investigation. Baxter has previously said that the New York Attorney General has asked it for more information on this subject, and that the company is cooperating. A lawsuit against Baxter in November of last year claimed that it and other IV solution manufacturers had worked together to restrict supply and raise prices, causing a shortage. Baxter and the Jusice Department did not immediately respond to request for comment. Baxter shares have surged 14.6% over the last three months, compared with a 2.4% rise in the S&P 500 .

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