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

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The pharmaceutical company was a donor to a foundation providing financial support patients taking any of several secondary hyperparathyroidism drugs. However, it stopped donating to that foundation and approached another about creating a “Secondary Hyperparathyroidism” fund that would support only Sensipar patients, according to the DOJ.

Amgen and the new foundation worked together to determine the fund’s coverage parameters. In November 2011, the foundation launched the Secondary Hyperparathyroidism fund and Amgen becomes its only donor. The fund covered Medicare co-pays for Sensipar patients only until June 2014.

The pharmaceutical company allegedly made payments to the fund. Amgen’s payments were more than its cost of providing free Sensipar to financially needy patients. He fund submitted claims for Medicare co-pays that allowed Amgen o generate revenues, said the DOJ.

Allegations against Amgen involving Kyprolis

With respect to Kyprolis, the federal government alleged that its former owner, Onyx did the same thing. It asked a foundation to create a fund that would supposedly cover healthcare travel related expenses for patients taking any drug for multiple myeloma. However, Onyx used the fund to exclusively cover travel expenses for patients taking Kyprolis. It is the sole donor to the fund. In 2015, Onyx became part of Amgen, which continued donating to the fund.