Feds probing Amgen reps' allegations

It didn't take long for allegations of improper marketing from two Amgen sales reps to attract the attention of government watchdogs. First, the New Jersey Attorney General formed a task force to investigate pharma-doctor interaction. And now, perpetual pharma bloodhound Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) is sniffing around the cases.

You'll recall that two former Amgen reps are suing the company, alleging that they were forced to participate in improper and illegal marketing activities to promote Enbrel. According to the suits, the reps were told to persuade docs to prescribe Enbrel for off label uses, including to patients who wouldn't benefit. One of the reps says he was told to rummage through private patient files as part of a plan to persuade insurers to cover the drug.

Well, the Senate Finance Committee wants to hear more: One of its investigators asked for a conference with the lawyer representing the ex-reps. It's part of Grassley's ongoing probe of drug-marketing practices. Undoubtedly we'll hear more from the committee soon.

- read this item from Pharmalot

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