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Amgen Shares Drop on Price News

From Bloomberg News

Shares of Amgen Inc. fell 7% Monday after the world’s No. 1 biotechnology company raised the price of its anemia drug Epogen for the first time in the drug’s 11-year history.

Amgen spokesman Peter Teeley said the price of Epogen, the company’s best-selling product, would rise 3.9% because inflation has increased the company’s costs. Analysts said the price change would only affect some of the company’s customers and wasn’t big enough to boost Amgen’s earnings.

Still, Amgen’s comments on the effect of the price increase may have raised questions about the company’s growth rate, analysts said.

Thousand Oaks-based Amgen fell $5.13 to close at $68.44 on Nasdaq.

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The price increase was disclosed late Friday by Torrance-based Total Renal Care Holdings Inc., one of the biggest U.S. operators of kidney dialysis centers. Dialysis centers like Total Renal Care use Epogen to treat patients with dialysis-related anemia.

Total Renal issued a statement Friday saying Amgen’s move would cut its earnings this year. On the New York Stock Exchange, Total Renal shares fell 38 cents to close at a record low of $3.13.


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