Business Editors/Health/Medical Writers
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 27, 2006--Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) today announced Amgen(TM) Oncology Assistance (AOA), a comprehensive, multi-faceted financial assistance program that will include a "cap" on out-of-pocket co-payments for cancer patients receiving Vectibix(TM) (panitumumab). Through AOA, patients who are uninsured, underinsured, or unable to afford their insurance co-payments will receive help obtaining financial support for Amgen's cancer medicines.
"We recognize that treating cancer is expensive and our industry needs to find new ways to ease the financial burden on cancer patients, their families and society," said Kevin Sharer, chairman and chief executive officer at Amgen. "Our goal is to create the most comprehensive oncology access program in the industry, and we are starting with Amgen Oncology Assistance. To ensure patients have access to Vectibix, we have priced it at approximately 20 percent less than the other antibody on the market and created the Vectibix Cap, which is the first of its kind for colorectal cancer patients."
The AOA program will be available for U.S. cancer patients and will launch in October. AOA will expand and consolidate the company's existing financial assistance programs into a simplified package with a single gateway:
-- The new Vectibix Cap will limit total patient co-payments for
Vectibix in the United States, regardless of income or
insurance status. Once a patient reaches the cap (five percent
of their adjusted gross income), he or she will become
eligible for the SAFETY NET(R) Foundation.
-- The SAFETY NET Foundation is a well-established patient assistance program that provides Amgen oncology medicines at no cost to qualifying uninsured patients. Available to patients with household adjusted gross incomes of up to $75,000 per year, The SAFETY NET Foundation is one of the most generous oncology product donation programs in the industry.
-- Amgen also donates millions of dollars to independent third-party administered patient assistance programs to help reduce the financial burden for uninsured or low-income patients.
These programs build on Amgen's Reimbursement Connection(R), which has been addressing the provider community's reimbursement questions regarding Amgen therapies for more than 15 years. For more information about Amgen Oncology Assistance, please visit www.amgen.com.
Amgen discovers, develops and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe and effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other serious illnesses. With a broad and deep pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about our pioneering science and our vital medicines, visit www.amgen.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve significant risks and uncertainties, including those discussed below and others that can be found in our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005, and in our periodic reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K. Amgen is providing this information as of the date of this news release and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this document as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual results may differ materially from those we project. The Company's results may be affected by our ability to successfully market both new and existing products domestically and internationally, sales growth of recently launched products, difficulties or delays in manufacturing our products, and regulatory developments (domestic or foreign) involving current and future products and manufacturing facilities. In addition, sales of our products are affected by reimbursement policies imposed by first party payors, including governments, private insurance plans and managed care providers, and may be affected by domestic and international trends toward managed care and healthcare cost containment as well as possible US legislation affecting pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement. Government regulations and reimbursement policies may affect the development, usage and pricing of our products. Furthermore, our research, testing, pricing, marketing and other operations are subject to extensive regulation by domestic and foreign government regulatory authorities. We, or others could identify side effects or manufacturing problems with our products after they are on the market. In addition, we compete with other companies with respect to some of our marketed products as well as for the discovery and development of new products. Discovery or identification of new product candidates cannot be guaranteed and movement from concept to product is uncertain; consequently, there can be no guarantee that any particular product candidate will be successful and become a commercial product. In addition, while we routinely obtain patents for our products and technology, the protection offered by our patents and patent applications may be challenged, invalidated or circumvented by our competitors. Further, some raw materials, medical devices, and component parts for our products are supplied by sole first party suppliers.
EDITOR'S NOTE: An electronic version of this news release may be accessed via our Web site at www.amgen.com. Journalists and media representatives may sign up to receive all news releases electronically at time of announcement by filling out a short form in the Media section of the Web site.
Trish Hawkins, 805-447-5631 (media)
Arvind Sood, 805-447-1060 (investors)