Amgen pleads guilty in False Claims Act case
Amgen “marketed the spread” between the price practices pay for Aranesp and that patients pay as a means of driving sales — to the point of having speakers tell physicians that they could make a million more each year by prescribing the Amgen anemia drug over its competitor, Procrit. That was one of the revelations to come out of the company's $762 million settlement of a False Claims Act case, the biggest involving a biotech to date. Amgen pled guilty to illegally marketing Aranesp for off-label uses and will pay $150 million in criminal penalties for that sin. The company will pay another $612 million to resolve charges that it bilked the government by causing false claims to be submitted to Medicare, Medicaid and other programs for Aranesp as well as Enbrel and Neulasta. And it will enter a five-year corporate integrity agreement that the government said will “increase accountability of individuals and board members,” strengthen transparency and compliance.