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Amgen's Q3 hit by $780m settlement charge

Amgen recorded a net profit drop of 63 per cent due mainly to a settlement charge of $780m related to allegations of improper sales and marketing practices

Amgen recorded a net profit drop of 63 per cent due mainly to a settlement charge of $780m related to allegations of improper sales and marketing practices.

The US-based biopharmaceutical company said the money had been set aside to cover ongoing settlement discussions that included state Medicaid investigations and 10 whistle-blower lawsuits.

Among these lawsuits was Westmoreland v Amgen, a suit filed by former sales representative Kassie Westmoreland involving the company's marketing practices for anaemia treatment Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa).

The company stated: 'The proposed settlement remains subject to continuing discussions regarding the components of the agreement and the completion and execution of all required documentation.'

Excluding the settlement charge, the company's results were more positive, with revenue up 3 per cent to $3.95bn for the third quarter of 2011.

Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) increased by 3 per cent too, climbing to $1.40 for the quarter.

Most products saw healthy growth, although sales of both Aranesp and Epogen (epoetin alfa) were down following new safety warnings issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2011.

25th October 2011

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