Amgen Inc, the world's largest biotechnology company, yesterday said it has set aside $780 million to resolve several civil and criminal investigations and whistle-blower lawsuits into whether it engaged in improper sales of drugs.
Amgen yesterday said in a statement that it has taken a $780-million charge in the third quarter of 2011 to cover the costs of settling allegations relating to its sales and marketing practices arising out of the previously disclosed federal civil and criminal investigations pending in the US Attorney's Offices in New York and Washington.
The California-based company said that it expects to resolve 10 whistle-blower lawsuits, including one claiming fraudulent overbilling tied to Aranesp sales.
''If the ongoing settlement discussions are successfully concluded, Amgen expects that the proposed settlement will resolve the Federal Investigations, the related state Medicaid claims and the claims in the US.''
''The proposed settlement remains subject to continuing discussions regarding the components of the agreement and the completion and execution of all required documentation; until the proposed settlement becomes final, there can be no guarantee that these matters will be resolved by the agreement in principle,'' it added.
Most of the contents of the whistle-blower lawsuits have not been made public, but Amgen has said in regulatory filings that the lawsuits ''allege that Amgen engaged in a wide variety of illegal marketing practices.''