Week 2: Case Study 3-2: Amgen Whistleblowing Executive Summary

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Week 2: Case Study 3-2: Amgen Whistleblowing Executive Summary Submitted by Elondra Cousin ACCT530: Acct Ethics & Related Regular Issues Professor: Laura Prevratil May 18, 2014 Introduction The purpose of this paper is to review the assigned “Case Study 3-2: Amgen Whistleblowing.” In addition, discuss how Amgen's unethical behavior contributes to the problems with Medicaid kickbacks. Explain why the public considers this scandal to have an unethical dilemma? Explain what is meant by whistleblowing? Discuss any gaps between public expectations of ethical standards and universal professional codes of ethical standards. Case Study Amgen Inc. is a pharmaceutical company based out of California. Amgen developed a drug called Aranesp to treat amnesia associated with chronic renal failure. In 2009, fifteen states filed lawsuits against them for allegations of participating in Medicaid kickback schemes. The law suits alleged that Amgen Inc. continued to market and sell Aranesp despite several complaints concerning a link between increase risk of death and heart attacks in kidney patients after using the drug. Also, Amgen encouraged doctors to switch Medicare and Medicaid patients to Aranesp, then bill Medicare and Medicaid for Aranesp. These practices went on while Aranesp was available to public healthcare plans for free. Amgen illegally offered doctors cash, exotic vacations, and performance-based rebates to engage in these fraudulent activities to increase sales. (Admin, n.d.) Shawn O’Brien was a senior project manager who was hired to improve the company compliance process with FDA reporting. O’Brien determined the inconsistency and lack of reporting complaints about the drug to the FDA. He reported his findings, but nothing was done. So O’Brien brought his findings to upper management, which ultimately led to him being instructed to be leave

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