Indivior Plc on Friday said it had agreed to pay $600 million and have a subsidiary plead guilty to a criminal charge to resolve U.S. allegations that it engaged in an illegal scheme to boost prescriptions of its opioid addiction treatment Suboxone.
The Slough, England-based company said it had reached the agreement with the U.S. Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. state attorneys general and will make the payments over a period of seven years.
As part of the deal, Indivior Solutions Inc, the subsidiary, pleaded guilty earlier in the day in federal court in Abingdon, Virginia, to one count of making a false statement relating to healthcare matters in 2012, a company spokesman said.
The Justice Department agreed to dismiss all charges against the parent company contained in an indictment unveiled in April 2019, the company said. It was one of the few corporate prosecutions related to the U.S. opioid addiction epidemic.
That indictment alleged that Indivior deceived doctors and healthcare benefit programs into believing the film version of Suboxone, which has an opioid component, was safer and less susceptible to abuse than similar drugs.
The indictment said Indivior also used an internet and telephone program touted as a resource for opioid addicts to connect them to doctors it knew were prescribing Suboxone and other opioids at high rates and in suspect circumstances.
Prosecutors said the scheme began before British consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser spun off Indivior. Reckitt Benckiser last year agreed to pay $1.4 billion to resolved related claims.
Indivior said it additionally is resolving a civil lawsuit the Justice Department joined in 2018 as well as a separate investigation by the FTC.
Indivior’s former chief executive, Shaun Thaxter, pleaded guilty last month to a misdemeanor charge stemming from the investigation.
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