Amgen, Astellas to pay almost $125M to settle alleged violations of False Claims Act

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Amgen and Astellas Pharma US agreed to pay a total of $124.75 million to settle allegations that both pharmaceutical violated the False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Statute.

The United States government alleged Amgen and Astellas allegedly violated the laws by illegally paying Medicare copays for its own products and conspiring with two independent foundations.

The federal government’s allegations against Amgen involved its drugs Sensipar and Kyprolis. The accusations against Astellas involved its medicine Xtandi.

Amgen agreed to pay $24.75 million while Astellas $100 million to resolve the federal government’s complaint.

In a statement, Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Civil Division, said, “When pharmaceutical companies use foundations to create funds that are used improperly to subsidize the copays of only their own drugs, it violates the law and undercuts a key safeguard against rising drug costs. These enforcement actions make clear that the government will hold accountable drug companies that directly or indirectly pay illegal kickbacks.”

Allegations against Amgen involving Sensipar 

Amgen sells Sensipar, a drug for secondary hyperparathyroidism drug and Kyprolis, a treatment for multiple myeloma. It acquired Kyprolis from Onyx Pharmaceuticals in 2013.