December 22, 2008 / 7:03 PM / 11 years ago

US court dismisses Amgen anemia drug lawsuit

LOS ANGELES, Dec 22 (Reuters) - A federal court dismissed a lawsuit against Amgen Inc (AMGN.O) and two kidney dialysis providers alleging illegal promotion of anemia drugs, saying the case should have been made to regulators rather than federal court.

The proposed class action lawsuit involved claims by seven small health benefit plans that Amgen, DaVita Inc (DVA.N) and Fresenius Medical Care AG (FMEG.DE) promoted the use of Epogen and Aranesp in unapproved settings, said law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, who represented Amgen.

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California last week dismissed the claims and the litigation on the ground that they constituted an improper attempt to privately enforce the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act.

The court said in order to pursue the complaint, the plaintiffs needed to point to specific misrepresentations made by the defendants. The complaint was filed under the federal racketeering statute and California’s consumer fraud laws.

Amgen has seen sales of its anemia drugs, used in patients with kidney disease and cancer, slide after the emergence of data nearly two years ago showing that the drugs raised the risk of death for some cancer patients. (Reporting by Deena Beasley; Editing by Derek Caney)

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