For Immediate Release
December 19, 2012
For More Information Contact:
Dana Brueck 608/266-1221
MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Wisconsin has joined with other states and the federal government and reached agreement with Amgen, Inc. (“Amgen”) to settle allegations that Amgen engaged in various illegal marketing practices to promote sales of the drugs Aranesp, Enbrel, Epogen, Neulasta, Neupogen and Sensipar, and inaccurately reported and manipulated prices for these drugs causing the submission of false claims.
Amgen will pay the states and the federal government a total of $612 million in civil damages and penalties to compensate Medicaid, Medicare, and various federal healthcare programs for harm suffered as a result of its conduct.
Medicaid is a health care assistance program for the needy and disabled jointly funded by the state and federal governments. As part of the settlement, the state will receive more than $210,000 in restitution and other recoveries as part of a total $557,829 attributed to Wisconsin Medicaid.
In addition, Amgen has agreed to plead guilty to an information to be filed by the government in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, that will allege a violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 331(a), and 333(a)(1) and Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2 and 3551 et seq., namely, the introduction into interstate commerce of a drug that was misbranded within the meaning of 21 U.S.C. § 352(a), specifically, Aranesp, in violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”).
The government entities alleged that Amgen engaged in several improper marketing and pricing practices that included the following:
– Amgen illegally marketed the drugs Aranesp, Enbrel and Neulasta;
– Amgen illegally offered, paid or caused to be paid kickbacks for the purpose of influencing health care providers’ selection and utilization of Aranesp, Enbrel, Epogen, Neulasta, Neupogen, and Sensipar for Medicaid recipients;
– Amgen knowing reported inaccurate Average Sales Prices (“ASP”) for Aranesp, Epogen, Neulasta and Neupogen;
– Amgen knowingly reported inaccurate Best Prices and AMPS for Aranesp, Enbrel, Epogen, Neulasta, Neupogen and Sensipar by failing to include remuneration that was paid to health care providers and that was conditioned on purchase of Amgen products in violation of the Medicaid Rebate Statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1396r-8.
As a condition of the settlement, Amgen will enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, which will closely monitor the company’s future marketing and sales practices.
This settlement is based on ten qui tam cases that were filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington by private individuals who filed actions under state and federal false claims statutes. Wisconsin was a co-plaintiff state in six of those cases. Assistant Attorney General Tom Storm represents the State in this matter.