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Reporting from Washington — Last December, a specialty pharmacy in Florida enjoyed its best month ever — posting a hefty $168.7 million in revenues. But it wasn't filling prescriptions that made Ven-A-Care of the Florida Keys Inc. such a success. Tiny Ven-A-Care has developed a lucrative niche market: blowing the whistle on drug companies that overcharge Medicare and Medicaid — and collecting tens of millions of dollars in reward money.
The company conducts research, comparing the prices it paid for drugs with the prices reported by drug makers to the government for reimbursement. Ven-A-Care files suit, on behalf of the government, when it spots large discrepancies between the two sets of prices.