Florida Attorney General Pam Bond announced that Florida, along with 35 other state attorneys general, have reached a nearly $11 million settlement with Amgen, Inc. resolving false claims allegations. Allegedly, Amgen violated state false claims acts by reporting inflated pricing data for its prescription drugs Aranesp, Enbrel, Epogen, Neulasta, Neupogen, and Sensipar. The alleged inflated prices caused Florida and the other settling states’ Medicaid programs to overpay for the drugs. Florida’s share of the settlement is more than $328,000.
“Falsely inflating pricing data in order to overcharge states and boost the sales of certain drugs is unethical and ultimately costs taxpayers, and it will not be tolerated,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “I am pleased that we were able to reach this settlement to compensate for our Medicaid program’s losses.”
The settlement addresses the “Average Wholesale Price” (AWP) and “Wholesale Acquisition Cost” (WAC) benchmarks used by most states’ Medicaid programs, including Florida’s, to set pharmacy reimbursement rates for drugs dispensed to state Medicaid beneficiaries. Allegedly, Amgen reported inflated AWP and WAC pricing data to create an artificially inflated “spread” between the price for which Medicaid providers dispensed the drugs to beneficiaries and the price which the states reimbursed providers for those drugs. The states further alleged that after creating the inflated spread, Amgen marketed that spread to Medicaid providers in order to boost Amgen’s sales of the named drugs.