The drug, Aranesp is used with chemotherapy and chronic renal failure to increase red blood cells and was approved by the FDA in 2001. We are hearing more about drug marketing today and now it’s spilling over to the “biotech” drug companies for investigation.
The suit states that providers were bribed and taxpayers we left footing the bill for sample products and some patients may have been over dosed without clinical cause. The drug is one of the top sellers for Amgen and recently sales have dropped, as which has happened with many drugs today, over concerns of side effects. Anemia drugs are the largest expenditure for Medicare. The overfilling process is at the heart of the matter with billing with one nurse that was paid more than 31k for her influence with encouraging others to use the drug. If the overfill amount was provided free with the samples, why was it billed appears to be the question here. This one looks complicated to me and once it’s in court who knows where this one will go, one more legal suit questioning the marketing and validity of pharma. BD
The suit alleges that the Thousand Oaks biotech company offered medical providers kickbacks to boost sales of its drug Aranesp, leading to fraudulent claims for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement.
New York, California and 13 other states are accusing biotech giant Amgen Inc. of offering kickbacks to medical providers to boost sales across the country of its anemia drug Aranesp, which increasingly has been beset by safety concerns.
In a suit filed Friday in federal court in Massachusetts, the states accuse Amgen sales representatives of encouraging doctors and other healthcare providers to bill insurers for Aranesp that the practitioners received free from the company, according to a statement issued by New York Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo.
The suit also alleges that Amgen, of Thousand Oaks, conspired with two other defendants -- drug wholesaler ASD Healthcare and group drug-purchasing network International Nephrology -- to offer "illegal inducements" to medical providers to increase sales of Aranesp. These allegedly included sham consulting agreements, weekend retreats and other rewards.
The lawsuit against Amgen focuses on a practice known as "overfill." Aranesp is often sold in one-dose vials. Pharmaceutical industry standards require that drug makers include a small amount of medicine in excess of the prescribed dosage -- known as overfill -- in such vials, according to the suit.
The states involved in the lawsuit accuse Amgen of violating a variety of state laws, including fraud, false claims and unjust-enrichment statutes. The suit is seeking triple damages and civil penalties, which in some states amount to $10,000 per violation.