A whistle-blower lawsuit accusing Amgen Inc of illegally marketing its blockbuster drugs Enbrel and Aranesp has been unsealed.
The litigation, filed in the U.S. District Court in Boston, was disclosed on Friday in a securities filing made by Wyeth, which co-markets rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel and is named as a co-defendant.
According to the lawsuit, Amgen improperly marketed the attractive economics of Aranesp to customers -- essentially that they could profit more from prescribing Aranesp than competing drugs. The lawsuit also alleges Amgen offered improper price discounts for Aranesp to customers and hid these prices from government health programs.
"Amgen believes the allegations made in the complaint are without merit and will vigorously defend against the litigation," company spokesman David Polk told Reuters.
An amended version of the lawsuit was filed in 2007 in the U.S. District Court in Boston, but had been under seal in accordance with a federal whistleblower law that protects the identify of the plaintiff. A U.S. judge decided earlier this month to unseal portions of the lawsuit.
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