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PharMerica, Amgen reach settlement

August 21, 2015
by Sandra Hoban, Managing Editor
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Accused of receiving monetary incentive to switch medication brands, PharMerica Corp. has reached a preliminary out-of-court settlement with Kentucky and 25 other states.

A federal judge in South Carolina dismissed the civil complaint, ruling that the case could be revived if the settlement isn’t finalized within 45 days.

The 26 states that participated in the settlement are ensured a share of the proceeds. Amgen, who provided kickbacks to PharMerica, has agreed to pay $71 million to 48 states and the District of Columbia, to settle charges that Aranesp anemia drug and Enbrel arthritis drug were improperly promoted.

Amgen had already settled federal kickback and fraud charges related to Aranesp in December 2012. It paid $762 million in fines and pleaded guilty to one charge of drug misbranding.

The kickback accusations against PharMerica were brought by a former Amgen manager in 2011, alleging that Amgen paid incentives to PharMerica and Omnicare to push Aranesp beyond its FDA approved uses. He alleged that Amgen paid generous incentives to PharMerica and Omnicare Inc. His lead attorney, Reuben Guttman of Washington, D.C., commented: “While not in a position to discuss the terms of any potential resolution, it is clear from our experience in this type of litigation that state and federal regulators need to do serious oversight of nursing homes and the pharmacy services that they use.”

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