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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 02, 2013
Drug Manufacturer Amgen Agrees To Pay Medicaid Program Nearly $26 Million To Resolve Two False Claims Cases

Average Wholesale Price:

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today Washington has joined a national settlement against the drug manufacturer Amgen, Inc., resolving allegations that Amgen violated certain state false claims acts by reporting inflated pricing data for its prescription drugs Aranesp, Enbrel, Epogen, Neulasta, Neupogen, and Sensipar. The inflated pricing data reports caused Washington and the other settling states’ Medicaid programs to overpay for those drugs.

Washington and 35 other states alleged that Amgen reported inflated “Average Wholesale Price” (AWP) and “Wholesale Acquisition Cost” (WAC) pricing data to First Data Bank and other drug pricing compendia, thereby creating an artificially inflated “spread” between the price for which Medicaid providers dispensed the named drugs to beneficiaries, and the price at which the states reimbursed providers for those drugs.

The states further alleged that after creating the inflated spread, Amgen marketed that spread to Medicaid providers in order to boost Amgen’s sales of the named drugs.

The total Medicaid portion of the settlement is just over $11 million. After the state/federal split, the settling states received $5.36 million.  Washington’s state share is $136,184.94. Amgen has also agreed to enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Nephrology Drug-Aranesp:

As part of another national settlement against Amgen, Washington has also resolved allegations that Amgen violated federal and state law, including the Federal False Claims Act, the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute, and certain states’ false claims acts, with respect to its prescription drug Aranesp.

Washington, along with the federal government and several other states, alleged that Amgen agreed to provide certain institutional pharmacies additional rebates on the nephrology drug Aranesp in exchange for the promise that these pharmacies would promote the drug in the “therapeutic interchange” programs implemented in nursing homes they served. The alleged purpose of the scheme was to induce medical professionals working at these facilities to dispense Aranesp in the place of competing drugs.

The total Medicaid portion of the settlement is roughly $14.78 million. The national settlement team negotiated a federal/state split with states receiving roughly $7.1 million. Washington’s share of the recovery is $139,968.65.

This settlement covers the qui tam action United States, et al., ex rel. Frank Kurnik v. Amgen, Inc., et al. (Civil Action No. 3:11-cv-01464-JFA) filed in the United States District Court for South Carolina.

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Contacts:     Janelle Guthrie, Director of Communications, (360) 586-0725

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