Whistleblower Alleges Drug Salespeople, not Doctors Dictated Dosages of Medicine

steam.jpgIn an interesting suit filed against Amgen, the maker of Epogen, as well as two large dialysis clinic chains, Fresenius and Davita, a whistleblower alleges that salespeople for the drug company told clinic operators and physicians working there to prescribe specific dosage levels of the drug Epogen for patients based upon the maximum reimbursement under Medicare for the drug rather than actual patient needs.
Epogen, used to treat anemia, comes in 1 ml vials with various unit doses between 1000 and 10,000 units of the drug. The cost, and reimbursement for the vials, administered to the patients at the clinics, can vary dramatically based upon the unit dosage used. The whistleblower is a former sales manager for Amgen and is also a nurse practitioner. The Federal False Claims Act requires the person bringing the suit on behalf of the federal government, referred to as a Relator, to have first hand knowledge of the fraud alleged. The Relator can receive up to 25% of the amount recovered under the suit.
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