Amgen to pay $11 million in national settlement

By Bryan Cohen | Apr 30, 2013

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a $11 million national settlement Monday with Amgen Inc. to resolve allegations of Medicaid fraud.

The agreement between Amgen, Schneiderman and 35 other states resolves allegations that the company inflated pricing data for six of its prescription drugs and caused the Medicaid programs of the settlement states to overpay for the drugs.

"There are no excuses for ripping off New York state taxpayers and defrauding our Medicaid programs," Schneiderman said. "At a time when state budgets are already strained, I am committed to going after any company that rips off our taxpayers - no matter how big they are. With this settlement the message we are sending is clear: Biotechnology giants are not above the law and my office will continue to ensure that those who cheat the system are held accountable."

New York and the 35 other states alleged that Amgen reported inflated average wholesale price and wholesale acquisition pricing data to create an artificially inflated spread. Amgen then allegedly marketed the spread to Medicaid providers to increase sales of Sensipar, Neupogen, Neulasta, Epogen, Enbrel and Aranesp, which are kidney disease and cancer treatment drugs.

The settlement resulted from a larger inquiry into allegations of illegal marketing practices, including illegal kickbacks and promotion of the drugs for unapproved uses. Amgen has paid more than $647 million in damages related to the inquiry. New York's Medicaid program recovered more than $19.2 million of the overall payments.

In the most recent settlement, New York recovered $3.3 million from Amgen.

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