ALSO NOTED: Aventis settles fraud claims; Novartis CEO critiques U.S. healthcare;

> Aventis Pharmaceuticals will pay $190 million to settle claims of drug-pricing fraud. The payment will be divided among the federal government and several states. Report

> Bayer is taking over the California plant that produces its Betaseron multiple sclerosis drug. The facility had been operated by Chiron. Report

> A private equity firm focused on healthcare has wooed away a Johnson & Johnson group chairman. In joining Water Street Healthcare Partners as operating partner, Curt Selquist will become another in a veritable cornicopia of ex-healthcare execs at the firm.  Release

> Mylan Pharmaceuticals got tentative FDA approval for its formulation of Topiramate, a generic version of Ortho McNeil's Topamax drug. Release

And Finally... In a New York Times Q&A, Novartis CEO Daniel Vasella critiqued the U.S. healthcare system and assessed his own industry. One highlight: He blamed the high cost of new drugs in part on an overcautious FDA. Article