Senate slaps Medicare on anemia drug coverage in Amgen win

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Spurred by a strong lobbying effort by Amgen, the Senate on Tuesday called on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to reconsider its decision to restrict coverage of Epogen and Aranesp.

CMS's July move on the Amgen anemia drugs prompted major layoffs at the Thousand Oaks, CA company.

As the resolution, sponsored by Sens. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), was non-binding, it is unclear how much pressure it will place on CMS to reverse its decision.
Amgen also has the American Society of Clinical Oncology on its side. The society recently said the restriction interferes with physicians' ability to care for patients suffering from anemia.

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