The manufacturer of the prescription drug Anzemet will pay more than $180 million to settle charges that it inflated the drug's price brought by the U.S. Department of Justice.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia joined in the settlement and will receive a total of $182.8 million from Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The DOJ claimed that Adventis misrepresented the cost of Anzemat, resulting in the Medicaid and Medicare programs paying too much for the product.
Anzemet is designed to reduce nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy or surgery.
"I want to make sure Ohioans are not victimized by big business defrauding the system," Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann said.
Federal dollars are given to each state to partly fund their Medicaid and Medicare programs. In a similar settlement in West Virginia, Attorney General Darrell McGraw structured an agreement that prevented the federal government getting its share. Now, the feds are planning to withhold that amount, and the State is appealing.
Dann said a "large portion" is being taken by the federal government.
The settlement with Aventis also stipulates the company enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the federal Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. It requires the company to minimize the chance of the alleged behavior ever occurring again.
Similar lawsuits are pending against Abbott Laboratories, Inc., Pharmacia Corp., Warrick Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Roxane Laboratories, Inc., Dann said.