Reckitt to pay $1.4B in opioid settlement

July 11, 2019

Reckitt Benckiser Group will pay up to $1.4 billion to settle U.S. investigations into whether its former pharma unit organized a multibillion-dollar fraud to drive up sales of its opioid-addiction treatment, Suboxone.

The drugmaker struck a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to resolve their probe into the sales and marketing of Suboxone Film, a prescription med that dissolves in the mouth. The film is made by Reckitt’s former pharmaceuticals business, Indivior, which became a stand-alone company in 2014.

Suboxone, whose active ingredient is an opioid, is used to treat addiction to other drugs like heroin.

In April, federal prosecutors charged Indivior, saying the drugmaker deceived health care providers into believing that Suboxone Film is safer and less susceptible to diversion and abuse than other drugs. Despite reaching the non-prosecution agreement with U.S. authorities, Reckitt Benckiser has not admitted to any wrongdoing.

Read the WSJ coverage