Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc. has paid the federal government and a number of states more than $190 million to resolve allegations that the company defrauded Medicare and other federal health programs as a result of the company’s alleged fraudulent pricing and marketing of drugs.
The suit began as a whistleblower complaint filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. The Act allows for private persons to file a suit on behalf of the government and to share in the recovery if the suit is successful.
An investigation into the company’s practices began after Ven-A-Care of the Florida Keys Inc. filed a qui tam suit. The suit alleged that Aventis, now sanofi-aventis US, engaged in a scheme to set and maintain inflated prices for Anzemet, an antiemetic drug, according to the Justice Department’s September 10, 2007 press release.