Hagens Berman: Whistleblower Helps to Expose Alleged Illegal Amgen Marketing Scheme

  Hagens Berman: Whistleblower Helps to Expose Alleged Illegal Amgen Marketing
  Scheme

Drug giant agrees to pay $762 million in criminal and civil penalties in
alleged scheme

Business Wire

SEATTLE -- January 3, 2013

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, a law firm dedicated to representing
whistleblowers today announced that its client, Marshall S. Horwitz, M.D.,
Ph.D., of Seattle, Wash., played a key role in uncovering an illegal scheme
allegedly organized by pharmaceutical giant Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN), which led to
$762 million in criminal and civil penalties levied by the U.S. Department of
Justice.

In 2006 Horwitz alerted authorities to Amgen’s alleged manipulation of the
scientific record regarding two of its blockbuster drugs, Aranesp and
Neulasta. He recognized that this manipulation led to more prescriptions for
off-label uses of these drugs, which resulted in enormous expenditures by
federal Medicare and state Medicaid programs, according to court documents.

In early 2007 Horwitz filed suit under the federal False Claims Act’s qui tam
provisions, which allow whistleblowers to pursue recoveries on the
government’s behalf for funds wrongfully paid. These provisions also allow
whistleblowers to receive a portion of the funds recovered as a reward.

“We are proud to have represented Dr. Horwitz in this case,” said Steve
Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “It takes an incredible amount of
courage to step forward and speak the truth in instances like this.”

“Dr. Horwitz helped put a stop to a fraud that was costing taxpayers billions
of dollars, while also improving safety in the use of Aranesp and Neulasta,”
Berman added. “For example, many of Dr. Horwitz’s allegations centered on
Aranesp used as an off-label treatment for so-called anemia of cancer. That
use has been shown to be quite dangerous to oncology patients, and Dr.
Horwitz’s suit put a spotlight on Amgen’s unlawful efforts to increase Aranesp
prescriptions for this condition.”

Berman also credited the commitment of the United States Attorney’s Office for
the Western District of Washington, particularly AUSAs Harold Malkin, Peter
Winn, and Susan Loitz. “Those prosecutors committed themselves to pursuing
Amgen for its indefensible conduct and were a fantastic team to work with,”
said Berman.

More information about this lawsuit is available at
http://www.hb-whistleblower.com/our-work/Amgen.

About Hagens Berman

Seattle-based Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a plaintiff-focused law firm
with offices in ten cities. Founded in 1993, the firm has been named to the
National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs Hot List six times. More information about
the firm is available atwww.hbsslaw.com

Contact:

Firmani + Associates Inc.
Mark Firmani, 206-443-9357
mark@firmani.com
 
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