July 11, 2019
Reckitt Benckiser Group plc
, which marketed and sold the opioid addiction treatment drug Suboxone until 2014 through its then-subsidiary Indivior Inc.
, will pay a total of $1.4 billion
in a global settlement resolving criminal, civil, and administrative claims. In marketing Suboxone Film, Indivior allegedly made unsupported claims that the drug was less-divertable and less-abusable than other buprenorphine drugs, and steered patients to doctors known to have a history of over-prescribing Suboxone and other opioids. In addition, Indivior was alleged to have discontinued its tablet Suboxone for pretextual reasons, claiming a concern for pediatric exposure when, in fact, the company was seeking to delay FDA approval of a generic form of tablet Suboxone. In a non-prosecution agreement, RB Group will forfeit $647 million in proceeds it received from Indivior, will cooperate with ongoing investigations, and will not manufacture or market controlled substances in the U.S. for three years. In resolution of civil claims with the U.S. and states, including six lawsuits filed by whistleblowers under the False Claims Act, RB Group will pay $700 million
to resolve claims that the marketing of Suboxone caused false claims to be submitted to federal- and state-funded government healthcare programs. Finally, RB Group has agreed to pay $50 million in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission to resolve claims that it engaged in unfair competition in seeking to impede generic equivalents of Suboxone. DOJ
; USAO W.D.Va.