Amgen Inc., a major pharmaceutical company, agreed to pay $71 million in order to stop an investigation into its allegedly illegal marketing practices of Aranesp and Enbrel. This settlement comes after Amgen paid the federal government over $760 million in 2012 for the same allegations. 48 states participated in the investigation, and Rhode Island will receive around $760,000 of the settlement.
What Did Amgen Do Wrong?
Amgen allegedly marketed their drugs for “off label use,” which means the company promoted its drug for uses that were not approved by the FDA. Aranesp, an anemia drug, was allegedly promoted to treat anemia caused by cancer even though it had never been tested, and Enbrel, a drug approved to treat only severe cases of plaque psoriasis, was marketed to treat mild cases as well. These off label uses potentially jeopardized the patients who were prescribed it for those untested uses.
What Does This Mean For Rhode Island?
The $760,000 goes to the state of Rhode Island, where it will be used to help continue to enforce deceptive marketing laws here in the state. Big pharmacy and medical device companies often advertise their products to be used off label in order to make a profit, but, in doing so, they jeopardize the health and safety of sick individuals. As personal injury lawyers here in the Rhode Island, we feel that it is our duty to help warn our community of the dangerous tactics used by major pharmaceutical companies.