Astellas Pharma is paying $100 million and Amgen is paying almost $25 million to the Department of Justice to settle allegations that they funneled donations to charities, which in return covered patients' copays for those companies' drugs.
The bottom line: The settlements are small potatoes for both drugmakers.
- Astellas generates $100 million worth of sales of Xtandi, its drug cited in the DOJ settlement, every 12 days.
- Amgen generates $25 million worth of sales of Sensipar and Kyprolis, its drugs cited in the DOJ settlement, every 3 days.
The big picture: "To date, the DOJ has collected over $840 million from 8 pharmaceutical companies (United Therapeutics, Pfizer, Actelion, Jazz, Lundbeck, Alexion, Astellas and Amgen) that allegedly used third-party foundations as kickback vehicles," the DOJ wrote in its announcement of the settlements.
Why it matters: Using a charity as a conduit for sales keeps pressure off drug companies from lowering prices.