Key Amgen Undercover Whistleblower Speaks Out; Jill Osiecki Wore Wire 13 Times for HHS During Eight-Year Qui Tam Off-Label, Pricing Scheme Investigation; Her Case Was Key in $762 Million Global Settlement

Key Amgen Undercover Whistleblower Speaks Out; Jill Osiecki Wore Wire 13 Times for HHS During Eight-Year Qui Tam Off-Label, Pricing Scheme Investigation; Her Case Was Key in $762 Million Global Settlement

December 19, 2012 — Over my 25 years in the pharmaceutical business I witnessed a significant change in the industry. At Amgen I saw the culture change from "Do The Right Thing"1 into "make your numbers," as selling became more and more important versus doing what was right. In the early years I witnessed some very good, ethical conduct, but management's mantra began to shift to, "That's a business decision," or, "You're smart, you know how to do this--just don't get caught." Management seemed to believe that a pile of unenforced company policies was sufficient to avoid prosecution.

The Amgen people who engaged in these criminal activities were no less mindful they were engaging in illegal behavior than muggers or bank robbers. They were smart, mature adults, who made conscious decisions to disobey the law to personally profit from highly incentivized pay, bonuses, awards, and international travel.

At the 13 sales and marketing meetings I secretly recorded over 18 months at the request of federal authorities I'd hear speakers jokingly tell participants to turn off their tape recorders, or express the hope that no one was recording their session. Those comments were always followed by uproarious laughter. I laughed too, outside and inside, knowing the wire I wore was bringing that guilty comment directly to the Government.

Over the past eight years I've seen how difficult and expensive it is to discover and prosecute the fraud I witnessed against the Federal Government. Without insiders who can provide a road map explaining the intricacies of a sophisticated corporate fraud, the Government may not be able to stop the illegal behavior and recover fines and penalties for taxpayers.

1 Amgen Code of Conduct. visited Dec. 14, 2012

Think of the hundreds of thousands, even millions of document files held by a large corporation. In order to prove its case the Government literally is looking for a needle in a haystack! They need an insider who knows exactly what that piece of paper looks like, what it's called, and better yet, where a signed original copy in a date-stamped email from the responsible corporate official can be found. I was able to help do that.

In my case I reached out to special agents of the Office of Inspector General to report illegal activity as it was happening, a decision I was told that was bold and courageous. I did it to protect the public--both patients and taxpayers. But just wearing a wire, in my case, didn't conclude my involvement.

I never could have done this alone. I had tremendous support from my husband, my family, my attorneys, and a lot of prayer and meditation. The people from the Government were incredibly professional, diligent, and devoted to justice and, in my opinion, were extremely fair-minded to the defendants.

My biggest job was to show the Government the devious and clever ways that the company was able to get around the law. I just kept explaining it and providing the evidence, and eventually, the truth prevailed.

Laws are unneeded against honest, legitimate sales efforts but are critically necessary when illegal tactics are so much more successful. Illegal marketing and sales schemes make impossible corporate goals achievable at the expense of competition and U.S. taxpayers.

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Case Caption: United States ex rel. Osiecki et al. v. Amgen, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. CV-05-
5025 (EDNY).

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