Federal investigators raided the offices of Proove Biosciences yesterday, according to Stat News. It reports that agents from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and officers from the inspector general's office of the Department of Health and Human Services took away boxes of documents from Proove's offices and that doctors in California, Florida, and Kentucky associated with the company also had their offices searched.
An FBI spokesperson tells Stat News that the investigation involved "healthcare fraud."
Proove offers genetic testing, including a test that it says can help physicians prescribe opiates for pain management more appropriately. Its test examines SNPs within the cytochrome P450 and other genes to gauge whether patients are at risk of becoming addicted to opioids.
But as GenomeWeb has reported, some researchers are skeptical and have raised concerns about the company's ability to do so. They noted that there is no published, peer-reviewed evidence supporting the company's claims. Stat News has reported that many physicians disregard the company's test results.
Additionally, Stat News reported in February that Proove had allegedly offered to pay doctors $30 for each patient they enrolled in the company's study of its tests. It also said that many Proove employees worked out of doctors' offices and used coercive approaches to enroll patients in their study. This, it added, could violate kickback laws.
The HHS's Office of Inspector General has recently been cracking down on fraud among genetic testing companies, including potential violations of anti-kickback laws, GenomeWeb reported last month. This apparent increase in fraud could be "the symptoms of a rapidly growing industry," it added.