Amgen's unethical practices

May 14, 2010
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"The company spent years trying to clone the [epo] gene. In late 1983, Amgen raised $40 million in an initial public offering underwritten by Smith Barney, Dean Witter and Montgomery Securities, founded by amateur cyclist Thom Weisel, who also financed the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team led by Armstrong."

I stopped reading for a moment when I read this. A potentially explosive detail.

EDIT: Acording to the article, Amgen was under pressure to move as much EPO as they could. Also,

"In Europe, EPO's clinical trials began, and marathon runners, Nordic skiers and Dutch cyclists were getting a hold of the drug on the black market."

Just what, and who, precisely, did this mythical, mysterious "black market" consist of? That might be the first question.
 
Oct 14, 2012
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Maxiton said:
"The company spent years trying to clone the [epo] gene. In late 1983, Amgen raised $40 million in an initial public offering underwritten by Smith Barney, Dean Witter and Montgomery Securities, founded by amateur cyclist Thom Weisel, who also financed the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team led by Armstrong."

I stopped reading for a moment when I read this. A potentially explosive detail.
Good find.

And so, another circle is completed.
 
TheEnoculator said:
It is quite sickening that Amgen engaged in these behaviours. Just goes to show the huge amount of power and money involved in the world of drugs.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/armstrongs-fraud-paralleled-epo-makers-feud
Thanks for posting this.

I had more than one reason for support of Amgen. They were incredibly helpful with a friend / Amgen employee who had terminal cancer. They went way beyond conventional corporate support.

They also ended up as a sponsor of a team I used to ride for.

But, flagrantly violating business ethics and law is not justified.

Dave.
 
May 14, 2010
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Was this connection known before now? In any case, in light of this fact, I can't see the federal case not being reopened. They pretty much have to reopen it, the implications of criminality are too clear.
 
Sep 29, 2012
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TheEnoculator said:
It is quite sickening that Amgen engaged in these behaviours. Just goes to show the huge amount of power and money involved in the world of drugs.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/armstrongs-fraud-paralleled-epo-makers-feud
Weisel's funding of this company has been mentioned here a few times and the bulk of LA business connections in a poster by DimSpace.

Drug companies are one of the big pieces of the puzzle people are not talking about that need to be reworked if you want a clean sport.

Amgen is not an exception. Drug companies are BIG business. All about the bottom line, and they are not always mindful of patient health or product safety.

NOONE is doping without the tacit complicity of a drug company. Whether it's some tiny BALCO sized deisgner drug company or Amgen or bigger, riders do not create their own EPO.
 
Jun 9, 2009
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Do you think the cancer industry operates any differently? Do you still believe that LAF is simply a charity that unethically enriches its founder, or might it be a small part of a much larger, much more institutionalized system of exploitation that is endemic to state-regulated capitalism around the world?
 
May 14, 2010
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Dear Wiggo said:
Weisel's funding of this company has been mentioned here a few times and the bulk of LA business connections in a poster by DimSpace.

Drug companies are one of the big pieces of the puzzle people are not talking about that need to be reworked if you want a clean sport.


Amgen is not an exception. Drug companies are BIG business. All about the bottom line, and they are not always mindful of patient health or product safety.


NOONE is doping without the tacit complicity of a drug company. Whether it's some tiny BALCO sized deisgner drug company or Amgen or bigger, riders do not create their own EPO.
In this case the complicity looks to be more than merely tacit. It looks as though Amgen created a vertical market for itself: competitive sport. Lance Armstrong was the living, breathing billboard.
 
Sep 29, 2012
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Maxiton said:
In this case the complicity looks to be more than merely tacit. It looks as though Amgen created a vertical market for itself: competitive sport. Lance Armstrong was the living, breathing billboard.
And if it worked and proved profitable, I am sure many other drug companies jumped on board - Aranesp and DynePro are but two examples.

To claim the peloton is cleaner now is to insinuate these same drug companies are now earning less $$ from their EPO sales to athletes. Or any other drugs they produce (Thg, Hgh, cortisol, etc). Either way, there's motivation from the drug companies to sell their drugs, and cyclists are perfect clients. Just need some good contacts between the cyclists and the drug companies...
 
Not to depress anyone here further, but many of the illegal or unethical practices reported for Amgen have been pretty much standard fare for drug companies for decades. For example, new graduates of medical schools have long been given gifts by drug companies, and encouraged to work closely with them for special deals.

I won't even get into all the biassed studies by drug companies that are designed to win approval of substances. Big tobacco, of course, has long been a prime example, but the same crap goes on with companies trying to develop medically useful drugs. There are many other issues that are a product of our capitalist system, e.g., companies will not develop a drug unless it has a large profit margin, which means individuals with relatively rare disorders that might be curable often are ignored.
 
Mar 12, 2010
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Maxiton said:
Was this connection known before now? In any case, in light of this fact, I can't see the federal case not being reopened. They pretty much have to reopen it, the implications of criminality are too clear.

Yes, this connection was well known. Weisel also had business dealings with the company behind actovigen. Amgen are also sponsors of Livestrong.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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When I learnt that Amgen sponsored the Tour Of California and were makers of EPO I was totally gobsmacked that cycling fans seemed indifferent to this fact.
Its testament to the utter lack of morality and ethical concerns of the UCI/ Promoters that this sponsorship was ever approved.
Many have commented that drug companies are to big to want ever have there names tarnished by any direct link to there products being used as PED,s..but I have to say I had my suspicion for a long time that they would find a way to get there products into the hands of elite athletes.
There " get out" is, as always with big business, to have " plausible deniability".
 
Aug 3, 2010
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Did the Cycling News cut and paste journalists just find this news (it is at least a year old), or did it resurface due to some unmentioned connection to USADA testimony?

There was speculation from some here in the Clinic, that there was or most likely was a mole from either the UCI or possibly Amgen etc. Those thoughts just may prove to be true. Amgen is ripe with people trying to save there own behinds. This could get good.
 

mastersracer

BANNED
Jun 8, 2010
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Maxiton said:
Was this connection known before now? In any case, in light of this fact, I can't see the federal case not being reopened. They pretty much have to reopen it, the implications of criminality are too clear.
what exactly are the implications of criminality you think are so clear?
 
Aug 10, 2010
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Darryl Webster said:
When I learnt that Amgen sponsored the Tour Of California and were makers of EPO I was totally gobsmacked that cycling fans seemed indifferent to this fact.
Its testament to the utter lack of morality and ethical concerns of the UCI/ Promoters that this sponsorship was ever approved.
Many have commented that drug companies are to big to want ever have there names tarnished by any direct link to there products being used as PED,s..but I have to say I had my suspicion for a long time that they would find a way to get there products into the hands of elite athletes.
There " get out" is, as always with big business, to have " plausible deniability".
The Amgen ToC was hilariously shameless. The promoters shoved their doped sport right in our faces. And the media remained pretty much dead silent about it.

And we watched . . .
 
Oct 2, 2010
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D-Queued said:
Thanks for posting this.

I had more than one reason for support of Amgen. They were incredibly helpful with a friend / Amgen employee who had terminal cancer. They went way beyond conventional corporate support.

They also ended up as a sponsor of a team I used to ride for.

But, flagrantly violating business ethics and law is not justified.

Dave.
I hope that I'm not calling you out here D-Queued, but as I was reading the article it triggered a memory of something that you had posted a couple of years ago on that other (Daily Peloton) forum regarding the off-label marketing and tacit encouragement of the illicit product usage by some of these Big Pharma companies. You had linked a few articles regarding the fines & penalties that some of these companies had agreed to pay, even though the fines paled in comparison to the profits that they were raking in due to the off-label usage. If you still have those links at the ready, I think that they would give some additional insight to the size & scope of this problem. I tried searching the archives over there to locate your post, but I was unsuccessful. You were a rather prolific (ahem) poster there! I hope that this request doesn't contravene any of the accepted forum protocols.:eek:
 
Oct 21, 2012
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TheEnoculator said:
It is quite sickening that Amgen engaged in these behaviours. Just goes to show the huge amount of power and money involved in the world of drugs.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/armstrongs-fraud-paralleled-epo-makers-feud
This is actually a more sickening story than the Lance Armstrong case - particularly as it is a mere side story when actually it involves a lot more people's lives and unlike Pro-cycling most of these people wouldn't have had any choice in whether they took it or not in the dangerous dose prescribed.

This will never be a big story like Lance but far more sickening and i didn't think i'd say something like that about a story relating to this website.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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I could care less if 9 schmucks on a team were juiced on EPO, and beat other juiced up schmucks in a bicycle race, and we all had a blast watching, and calling riders boring when they are not attacking 100% of the time. The benefit that Amgen's EPO gives to dialysis patients alone, is worth all of that.

EDIT: After reading the article on CN, the author used the results of the drug on Chemo patients, (Lance, cancer...blah, blah)..the author should have also included the results of EPO on renal patients, and suddenly Amgen is doing alot of good for people.
 
epluribusnev said:
I hope that I'm not calling you out here D-Queued, but as I was reading the article it triggered a memory of something that you had posted a couple of years ago on that other (Daily Peloton) forum regarding the off-label marketing and tacit encouragement of the illicit product usage by some of these Big Pharma companies. You had linked a few articles regarding the fines & penalties that some of these companies had agreed to pay, even though the fines paled in comparison to the profits that they were raking in due to the off-label usage. If you still have those links at the ready, I think that they would give some additional insight to the size & scope of this problem. I tried searching the archives over there to locate your post, but I was unsuccessful. You were a rather prolific (ahem) poster there! I hope that this request doesn't contravene any of the accepted forum protocols.:eek:
Thanks!

Yes, I am certain that I did comment on it. Actually had an argument with a fellow cyclist on a ride the other day about it. Of course, they also think Lance is being unjustly singled out.

Didn't have to look far, as Wikipedia has a nice page on the problem:

Up to one-fifth of all drugs are prescribed off-label and amongst psychiatric drugs, off-label use rises to 31%.

That math is pretty simple.

Q: How do you increase your market? Even more important, how do you increase your profits when your fixed costs are already covered?

A: Find a new market for the current product. Enter off-label usage.

Hugely profitable.

Q: Want to extend the market some more? What else can the product do, and who would you like as a front man?

A: Sports, anti-aging, vanity. Perfect. Bristol Meyers Squibb? Enter Lance Armstrong and the 'Driven by What's Inside' campaign. Any surprise Lance is out there promoting that he wants to be the fittest 40(plus) year old in the world? He knows his customers.

The Psychiatric drug reference on Wikipedia caught my attention given the notable usage of Ritalin in cycling. No less than four cases of Ritalin positives in the 1982 Giro.

But, think about that. Off-label use of psychiatric drugs? One-third of all psychiatric prescriptions - powerful mood and behavioral modifying drugs - are not for the psychiatric ailment that they were developed for?

The links you are referring to did include EPO. The reference in the OP touches on this already.

EPO - is it really just another aspirin?

Dave.
 
May 14, 2010
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mastersracer said:
what exactly are the implications of criminality you think are so clear?
LA and cohorts have been under Federal investigation for at least a couple of years now for possible criminal acts surrounding doping: fraud, bribery, and who knows what else. Likewise, several doping doctors, tons of riders, etc, have been under multiple investigations in their own countries, in some of which doping with PEDs is itself a crime, to saying nothing of PED trafficking.

What is implied by this Amgen/Weisel/Armstrong/pro cycling/EPO connection, as well as sport-as-vertical-market for Amgen, is, first, that LA is nothing more than marionette and Amgen the manipulator. If there is even a kernel of truth to that, all LA's actions, and those of his co-conspirators, implicate Amgen. In any case, it may be that Amgen and/or their competitors are involved in all this up to their necks; and they may turn out to be the prime movers behind much of it. Again, we are talking about criminal acts here, many of them.

Those are the implications, or some of them.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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Maxiton said:
"The company spent years trying to clone the [epo] gene. In late 1983, Amgen raised $40 million in an initial public offering underwritten by Smith Barney, Dean Witter and Montgomery Securities, founded by amateur cyclist Thom Weisel, who also financed the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team led by Armstrong."

I stopped reading for a moment when I read this. A potentially explosive detail.

EDIT: Acording to the article, Amgen was under pressure to move as much EPO as they could. Also,

"In Europe, EPO's clinical trials began, and marathon runners, Nordic skiers and Dutch cyclists were getting a hold of the drug on the black market."

Just what, and who, precisely, did this mythical, mysterious "black market" consist of? That might be the first question.
...and if you want a real good belly laugh take a peek at Weisel's perfomances at the Masters World Championships in the late 80's and early 90's...

...miracles or what?...

Cheers

blutto
 
Oct 21, 2012
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Darryl Webster said:
When I learnt that Amgen sponsored the Tour Of California and were makers of EPO I was totally gobsmacked that cycling fans seemed indifferent to this fact.
Its testament to the utter lack of morality and ethical concerns of the UCI/ Promoters that this sponsorship was ever approved.
+1 It's hysterical that the producers of the No.1 PED for cycling of the time was the race sponsor - I'm guessing that they didn't sponsor it as 'Amgen - Producers of EPO - We'll get you there faster!' Still... Whilst general cycling public may/may not have been aware - you'd have expected the race organisers to have done a bit of homework??

Having said this - not quite the same I know but have grown up watching a large number of sports sponsored by tobacco, booze etc obviously not PED's but hey-ho..
 

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