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VALLEY AND VENTURA COUNTY BUSINESS | REGIONAL ROUNDUP

Ex-Amgen Employee Files Whistle-Blower Lawsuit

May 27, 1997

Amgen Inc. said that a former employee has filed a so-called whistle-blower suit against the biotechnology company and some of its customers.

The suit, which is under seal in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleges that Amgen on its own, and in a conspiracy with some customers, violated the federal False Claims Act in some of its sales and reporting practices involving its products.

The whistle-blower law, which dates back to the Civil War, was amended a decade ago to encourage civilians to file suits and provides for them to share with the federal government in any final court awards.

Amgen said it is cooperating with the government's investigation. The government has not yet completed its probe or decided whether to join the civil suit, Amgen added.

Amgen said it vigorously disputes the allegations. The company also said it is too early to predict the outcome of the case, but "an unfavorable result in this matter could have a material adverse effect on results of operations in that period."

Amgen, based in Thousand Oaks, posted net income of $679.8 million last year on revenues of $2.2 billion, thanks to the success of two blockbuster drugs.

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