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Amgen agrees to $200M settlement

By   /   Friday, July 18th, 2008  /   Comments Off on Amgen agrees to $200M settlement

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Thousand Oaks-based Amgen, the biggest biotechnology company by sales and Ventura County’s second-largest employer, will pay Johnson & Johnson $200 million to settle an antitrust claim over discounts on Amgen’s drugs for cancer patients, the companies said in separate statements July 11.

Amgen officials admitted no liability in agreeing to pay the money to Ortho Biotech Products LP, which said it will drop the lawsuit it had pursued in a Newark, New Jersey, federal court since October 2005.

The Ortho Biotech unit of New Brunswick, New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson accused Amgen of offering oncology clinics package discounts on their purchases of Aranesp, Neupogen and Neulasta used to regenerate red and white blood cells in cancer patients.

In its complaint, Bridgewater, New Jersey-based Ortho, which manufactures a competing product called Procrit, said the Amgen pricing plan was designed to monopolize what Ortho called a “two-player market.”

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