Friday, February 1, 2013


Amgen is a leading biotechnology company based in California!
Our Mission and Values
Amgen strives to serve patients by transforming the promise of science and biotechnology into therapies that have the power to restore health or even save lives. In everything we do, we aim to fulfill our mission to serve patients. And every step of the way, we are guided by the values that define us.
Their CEO Robert Bradway salary is $7,124,964 with incentives and benefits estimated up to $21 million/yr!   They also have a very distinguished board of directors filled with many ex ceo's etc...

One last thing to mention, they also like to illegally market their drugs and own enough US Legislators to get a free $500,000,000 in taxpayers money from Congress in the "Fiscal cliff" bill!  

First off the story of their illegal marketing of their drugs:
 Amgen marketed its anemia drug Aranesp for unapproved uses even after the Food and Drug Administration explicitly ruled them out, federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.

The federal charges were made public as Amgen pleaded guilty to illegally marketing the drug and agreed to pay $762 million in criminal penalties and settlements of whistle-blower lawsuits. 

Amgen was “pursuing profits at the risk of patient safety,” Marshall L. Miller, acting United States attorney in Brooklyn, said in a telephone news briefing on Tuesday. 

David J. Scott, Amgen’s general counsel, entered the guilty plea at the United States District Court in Brooklyn to a single misdemeanor count of misbranding the drug, Aranesp, meaning selling it for uses not approved by the F.D.A. 

Amgen agreed to pay $136 million in criminal fines and forfeit $14 million, with about $612 million going to settle civil litigation.
Wrap your head around the fact that an $18 Billion dollar company just pled guilty and paid out 3/4 of a BILLION dollars, instead of continuing to fight this in court for years.   I am sure the people who died because of this are satisfied!
In court on Tuesday, prosecutors charged that Amgen had promoted the use of Aranesp to treat anemia in cancer patients who were not undergoing chemotherapy, even though the drug’s approval was only for patients receiving chemotherapy.

A subsequent study sponsored by Amgen showed that use of Aranesp by those nonchemotherapy cancer patients had actually increased the risk of death, and the off-label use diminished. 

The federal charges also say Amgen promoted using larger but less frequent injection of Aranesp than stated in the label as a way of making the drug more attractive to doctors and patients than Procrit, a rival anemia drug from Johnson & Johnson.
Luckily, Amgen did not have to absorb that big of heat very long, since their employees, (namely Mitch McConnell, Max Baucus and Orrin Hatch) who also happen to be in Congress, slipped a late night provision into the Fiscal Cliff Bill which will guarantee Amgen an extra $500 Million dollars over the next two years!
WASHINGTON — Just two weeks after pleading guilty in a major federal fraud case, Amgen, the world’s largest biotechnology firm, scored a largely unnoticed coup on Capitol Hill: Lawmakers inserted a paragraph into the “fiscal cliff” bill that did not mention the company by name but strongly favored one of its drugs.

The language buried in Section 632 of the law delays a set of Medicare price restraints on a class of drugs that includes Sensipar, a lucrative Amgen pill used by kidney dialysis patients. 

The provision gives Amgen an additional two years to sell Sensipar without government controls. The news was so welcome that the company’s chief executive quickly relayed it to investment analysts. But it is projected to cost Medicare up to $500 million over that period. 

Amgen, which has a small army of 74 lobbyists in the capital, was the only company to argue aggressively for the delay, according to several Congressional aides of both parties.
Easy to plead guilty, when you know the taxpayers will cover 2/3 of your penalty!  Luckily, despite the "tea party" members extreme silence,  we have Democrat Peter Welch (D-VT) who is trying to get our money back!
Welch introduced a bill on Wednesday that would restore the restraints. Reps. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) and Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) co-sponsored Welch's bill.

"Without scrutiny or debate, the American taxpayer was stuck with the $500 million tab. This special interest provision should have stood on its own merits with an up or down vote," Welch said. "It's no wonder cockroaches and root canals are more popular than Congress."
In terms of Wisconsin,  Self described deficit hawk Ron Johnson (R - Class Rings) has had exactly ZERO words to say about this taxpayer funded giveaway to Amgen!  You could express your dismay at a local town hall with Senator marry well, but he refuses to have those also.

Ironically, on the other side of the coin, the one person in Wisconsin who is beating the "lets stop this corporate welfare" drum is former Senator Russ Feingold!  
Former Sen. Russ Feingold's (D-Wis.) non-profit group, Progressives United, launched a petition Tuesday criticizing the pharmaceutical company Amgen for successfully lobbying to get a provision favoring one of its drugs, which could cost taxpayers up to $500 million, added to the "fiscal cliff" deal.

The petition calls for Amgen to give back the $500 million. "Thanks to more than 30,000 of your fellow progressives, our petition is taking off, even garnering national media attention to shine a bright spotlight on Amgen's overreach," wrote the group's executive director, Cole Leystra, in an email to supporters. "But Amgen still has an army of back-door lobbyists ready to quiet opposition and shell out targeted campaign contributions."
Action Steps:

* Sign Senator Feingold's Petition
*  tell Rep Peter Welch Thank you and you support him - @reppeterwelch / Phone: (202) 225-4115.
*  Call your local representative and tell them to sign onto Rep. Welch's bill!

1 comment:

  1. It's a sickening travesty when companies view potential lawsuits and fines as part of their business model, knowing full well the profit will far outweigh the fines and lawsuits. Business people who do this should never be allowed to run a business again.