Indivior settles opioid case for $600 million

July 28, 2020

Indivior Solutions have pleaded guilty to a one-count felony information and, together with its parent companies Indivior Inc. and Indivior plc, agreed to pay a total of $600 million to resolve criminal and civil liability associated with the marketing of the opioid-addiction-treatment drug Suboxone. Together with a $1.4 billion resolution with Indivior’s former parent, Reckitt Benckiser Group, announced in 2019, and a plea agreement with Indivior plc’s former CEO, Shaun Thaxter, announced last month, the total resolution relating to the marketing of Suboxone is more than $2 billion — the largest-ever resolution in a case brought by the Department of Justice involving an opioid drug.

Suboxone is a drug product approved for use by recovering opioid addicts to avoid or reduce withdrawal symptoms while they undergo treatment for opioid-use disorder. Suboxone contains buprenorphine, a powerful opioid.

In connection with its guilty plea, Indivior admitted to making false statements to promote the film version of Suboxone (Suboxone Film) to the Massachusetts Medicaid program relating to the safety of Suboxone Film around children. The resolution includes a criminal fine, forfeiture and restitution totaling $289 million. On June 30, 2020, Indivior plc’s former CEO Shaun Thaxter pleaded guilty to a one-count misdemeanor information related to Indivior’s false and misleading representations to MassHealth.

In 2002, Indivior received approval to market Suboxone tablets for use in the treatment of opioid addiction and dependence. At that time, Indivior was an RB Group subsidiary known as Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc. In December 2014, RB Group spun off Indivior, and the two companies are no longer affiliated. On April 9, 2019, a federal grand jury sitting in Abingdon, Virginia, indicted Indivior for allegedly engaging in an illicit nationwide scheme to increase prescriptions of Suboxone.

In its guilty plea today, Indivior Solutions, which employed marketing and sales personnel for the Indivior group of companies, admitted to an aspect of the scheme alleged in the indictment.

Read the U.S. Department of Justice statement