Questcor problems: You heard it here first

Drug maker Questcor has been having serious troubles lately. Aetna restricted reimbursement to one indication, the federal government is looking into potential marketing abuses, and short-sellers are making a fortune as the stock plummets. Read the recent news coverage (WSJ, Reuters, Bloomberg) and it looks like all these issues have just come to the fore. But Questcor has been on the questionable list since 2007, when I first wrote about it.

If you read what I wrote you probably would not have invested, figuring something bad would happen to this company eventually. And yet at the time of my first post, the stock was trading for$0.57 per share. It subsequently climbed to $53 and even now it’s about $19. So don’t use my posts for short-term trading!

Here’s a recap of my earlier posts:

Abusing the orphan drug law to rip off customers (August 2007)

Questcor obtained orphan drug status for a product that had been used for decades, then jacked the price 20x.

New York Times is 7+ months late with H.P. Acthar Gel story and still misses the point (April 2008)

Incredibly when the Times finally does run the story they blame the drug distributors for the price jump. Another reporter had called me months earlier and I spent a lot of time educating him, so someone got their wires crossed.

Wiki discusses alternatives to ACTH for infantile spasms (July 2008)

Pediatric neurologists pointed out alternatives to giving in to Questcor’s pricing stratagem.

Conde Nast Portfolio shines a light on Questcor (July 2008)

A mainstream source finally covers the story and gets it right.


I stopped covering Questcor after that, leaving the job to other bloggers who’ve pursued it with more passion and interest. But from time to time over the past couple years I’ve received calls from reporters, short-sellers and investigators sniffing around this story. I’m not surprised to see the recent troubles.




September 25, 2012

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