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Amgen Raided in Probe of Incentives

July 15, 2006|From Bloomberg News

Prosecutors raided Amgen Inc.'s Munich office in connection with an investigation into whether drug makers provided favors or money to doctors to get them to prescribe the companies' medications.

Officials suspect Amgen of giving advantages to doctors to use its products, public prosecutor Anton Winkler said Friday. Police interrogated several Amgen employees Wednesday and searched the premises for hours after prosecutors received an anonymous tip, he said.

"At the moment, we are assuming this is about one case from a couple of years ago," Amgen spokeswoman Silvia Schmidt said.

Thousand Oaks-based Amgen is the fourth drug maker to be linked to the probe, which has investigated 2,700 cases involving doctors in 850 hospitals in the last three years, Winkler said.

Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co., Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Les Laboratoires Servier are also being investigated.

Trips and machines were given in exchange for doctors using the companies' drugs, Winkler said.

Les Laboratoires Servier declined to comment, and calls to Fujisawa and Bristol-Myers weren't immediately returned.

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