[Editor's note: This story has been updated with comments from Amgen.]
Biotech giant Amgen pleaded guilty Dec. 18 to a misdemeanor charge for misbranding its anemia drug Aranesp.
According to a report from Bloomberg News, the Thousand Oaks-based firm agreed to pay $150 million in fines and penalties as part of the guilty plea. U.S. District Judge Sterling Johnson, who sits in the eastern district of New York, said he will decide Dec. 19 whether to accept the deal.
The guilty plea stems from Amgen offering Aranesp for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Bloomberg reported. Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Burlingame said at the hearing that the biotech firm engaged in improper sales of the anemia drug, and a few others, to gain market share.
“The plea and sentence remain subject to judicial review and approval. If the court accepts the plea and enters an agreed sentence, Amgen expects immediately thereafter to complete the comprehensive resolution of related civil and criminal matters for which a $780 million charge was recorded in the third quarter of 2011 and to enter into a corporate integrity agreement,” Amgen said in a statement.