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Amgen Sets Aside Funding to Settle Whistleblower Lawsuits

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The pharmaceutical firm Amgen Inc. has set aside $780 million to settle numerous lawsuits claiming the company illegally marketed the anemia drug Aranesp and, in one case, knowingly encouraged fraud in an over-billing scheme.

According to a Bloomberg report, Amgen issued a press release earlier this week announcing that it has set aside money to settle 10 lawsuits brought by whistleblowers and at least another 15 from state Attorneys General seeking compensation. Earlier this year, federal prosecutors along with those Attorneys General subpoenaed key documents from the company, including those specific to the marketing of Aranesp.

Amgen is accused of resorting to nefarious means to corner the market on anemia drugs, specifically trying to top sales of Procrit. A whistleblower contends the company intentionally over-filled vials of Aranesp and distributed them to physicians.

The company then encouraged physicians to “over-bill” third-parties like Medicaid and Medicare for the extra Aranesp in the vial.

Excessive doses of Aranesp and other anemia drugs can lead to life-threatening side effects, including heart attack, hypertension, vascular thrombosis and convulsions.

Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration announced it was conducting additional safety reviews on Aranesp to investigate a potential link to an increased risk of stroke.

breakinglawsuitnews.com disclaimer: This article: Amgen Sets Aside Funding to Settle Whistleblower Lawsuits was posted on Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 at 2:52 pm at breakinglawsuitnews.com and is filed under Defective Drug Lawsuits, Fraud Lawsuits.

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