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Sanofi to Pay $190 Million in U.S. Fraud Probe

Settlement is for overcharging U.S. government health care programs

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis has agreed to pay $190 million to settle a probe into whether it overcharged U.S. government health care programs, the government and company said Sept. 10. The U.S. Department of Justice said the firm agreed to the payments to federal and state governments "to resolve allegations that the company caused false claims to be filed with Medicare and other federal health programs as a result of the company's alleged fraudulent pricing and marketing of drugs."

The case revolved around the pricing between 1997 and 2004 of Anzemet, a treatment given to cancer patients to prevent nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy.

"The government alleged that the pharmaceutical company engaged in a scheme to set and maintain fraudulent and inflated prices for Anzemet knowing that federal health care programs established reimbursement rates based on those prices," the Justice Department said. The French firm said in a separate statement that it "has decided to resolve this legacy matter through this settlement, without admitting any wrongdoing."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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