NEW YORK, Dec. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A $612 million settlement between Amgen Inc. and the United States Government entered into in December 2012 has finally been resolved with the federal and state governments collectively receiving over $500 million and various whistleblowers who brought the fraud to the Government's attention collectively receiving over $90 million. On December 19, 2012, Amgen pled guilty to criminal conduct arising out of this matter.
All of the monies from the settlement had been held in escrow pending a challenge by two whistleblowers, namely Dr. Joseph Piacentile and Kevin Kilcoyne. Mr. Kilcoyne, a former Amgen employee, filed later and joined Dr. Piacentile's suit. Dr. Piacentile and Mr. Kilcoyne claimed that the Government improperly excluded them from obtaining an appropriate share of the recovery under the False Claims Act (FCA) despite their significant roles in first bringing the information to the Government's attention that exposed major parts of Amgen's fraud. In all, there were eleven cases filed by whistleblowers against Amgen and other parties between 2004 and 2011, alleging illegal kickbacks and off-label marketing of a series of cancer drugs including Neupogen, Epogen, Enbrel, Neulasta and Sensipar. Although Dr. Piacentile's case was the second filed of the eleven—and the first to bring several of the frauds settled in this matter to the Government's attention—the Government nonetheless had refused to provide either Dr. Piacentile or Mr. Kilcoyne a portion of the settlement as the law requires.
The whistleblowers recently came to an agreement amongst themselves that finally resolved the case against Amgen, in part by allocating the sum of $8 million dollars of the total relator share to the Piacentile/Kilcoyne case. That settlement also includes language acknowledging the contribution of Dr. Piacentile and Mr. Kilcoyne to the ultimate settlement: "Relators Piacentile and Kilcoyne brought information to the United States about the conduct of Amgen, which information, along with the information and efforts of the other Relators, contributed to the Amgen Settlement." The agreement resolves all disputes relating to the Amgen settlement. Dr. Piacentile and Mr. Kilcoyne have an ongoing case against U.S. Oncology arising out of some of the same conduct. "We are pleased that this case against Amgen has finally been resolved and that the contributions of the information we first brought to the Government's attention have been acknowledged," said Dr. Piacentile. He continued: "When global settlements such as this occur, it is important that all whistleblowers who are first to bring evidence forward be acknowledged as the law requires. We stood up for the right of all whistleblowers to have their contributions recognized."
The case was handled on behalf of the United States by the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Dr. Piacentile was represented by Eric L. Cramer of Berger & Montague, P.C. in Philadelphia. Mr. Kilcoyne was represented by David Stone and Robert Magnanini of Stone & Magnanini LLP.
For more information contact:
Whistleblowers Against Fraud
SOURCE Berger & Montague, P.C.