Rhode Island, along with 48 other states, has reached a $71 million settlement with Amgen Inc. to resolve allegations that Amgen unlawfully promoted biologic medications Aranesp and Enbrel.
Rhode Island will receive approximately $760,000 as a result of this settlement.
Aranesp is used to treat certain types of anemia by stimulating bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Enbrel is used to treat a number of conditions, including plaque psoriasis.
The Complaint and Consent Judgment filed today alleges that Amgen violated state consumer protection laws by: (1) promoting Aranesp for dosing frequencies longer than the FDA approved label without competent and reliable scientific evidence to substantiate the extended dosing frequencies; (2) promoting Aranesp for anemia caused by cancer without having FDA approval or competent and reliable scientific evidence to support it; and (3) promoting Enbrel for mild plaque psoriasis even though Enbrel is only approved by the FDA to treat chronic moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
"Yet again, a major pharmaceutical company has engaged in deceptive marketing practices, potentially jeopardizing patient health in order to boost their bottom line,” said Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin. “I will continue to ensure that drug companies comply with the laws in their sales and marketing of drugs to the public. Those laws are designed to protect the safety of patients, and as today’s settlement shows, companies that do not abide by the rules will be held accountable.”
The Consent Judgment also requires Amgen to reform its marketing and promotional practices. For example, under the terms of the Consent Judgment Amgen shall not:
The other states participating in the settlement are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.