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Drugmaker settlement nets state $793K

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Indiana will collect $793,000 in reimbursement to the Medicaid program as part of a nationwide settlement of claims that the pharmaceutical company Amgen Inc. illegally marketed drugs, offered doctors kickbacks and submitted ineligible claims for payment.

The Indiana settlement is carved from a $612 million settlement Amgen reached with other states and the federal government to resolve 10 whistleblower suits claiming the company was defrauding Medicaid and Medicare along with other health care programs, according to a statement Wednesday from Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

Whistleblower suits that were settled alleged that Amgen:

  • Illegally marketed its prescription drugs Aranesp, Enbrel and Neulasta to physicians to prescribe them for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration;
  • Offered and paid doctors illegal kickbacks to prescribe Aranesp, Enbrel, Epogen, Neulasta, Neupogen and Sensibar to Medicaid recipients; and
  • Caused ineligible claims for its drugs to be paid by Medicare and Medicaid. Among other things, Amgen submitted inaccurate price data for its prescription drugs to Medicaid, resulting in ineligible reimbursement.

Amgen also agreed to plead guilty to a criminal charge of drug misbranding, the statement said.

Whistleblower statutes in Indiana and most other states allow those who initiate complaints of criminal wrongdoing involving public funds to share a percentage of the total recovered. “More importantly, the fraud is stopped and the program is reimbursed by the provider for tax dollars wrongly paid out,” Zoeller said

The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of Zoeller’s office served on the settlement team with five other states that negotiated the agreement with Amgen, according to the statement.

Zoeller and deputy attorneys general from the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit have given presentations to health care workers to familiarize them with their legal rights as whistleblowers under Indiana’s False Claims Act.

Fraud against the Medicaid program can be reported to the attorney general’s office at 800-382-1039.

Read more about the work agencies are doing to prevent and address Medicaid and Medicare fraud in the Jan. 2, 2013, issue of Indiana Lawyer.

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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