Thousand Oaks biotech Amgen Inc. has reached an $11 million settlement with 36 states over charges it inflated pricing data and caused Medicaid to overpay for six of its drugs, the New York State Attorney General said Monday.
The charges allege Amgen inflated cost benchmarks for drugs used to treat kidney disease and cancer patients. The drugs involved were Aranesp, Enbrel, Epogen, Neulasta, Neupogen and Sensipar. Those benchmarks are used to set pharmacy reimbursement rates for drugs dispensed to state Medicaid beneficiaries.
“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,” said Eric T. Schneiderman, New York State attorney general, in a statement.
Amgen did not accept fault as part of the settlement. Company officials did not immediately respond to calls for comment.
The settlement follows an April 16 deal in which Amgen agreed to pay $24.9 million to settle charges it paid kickbacks to long-term care pharmacists and nursing home staff to give its drug Aranesp for unapproved uses. Aranesp is approved to treat anemia associated with chronic renal failure or those undergoing chemotherapy.
At the time of the April 16 announcement, the company issued a statement noting that the settlement was part of a previously arranged deal to settle the allegations, which stemmed from practices in the early to mid-2000s. Amgen denied any wrongdoing as part of that settlement.
Shares of Amgen closed down $1.71, or 1.6 percent, to $106.67 on the Nasdaq.