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Drugmaker to settle opioid treatment claim for $ 600 million



(Reuters) – Indivior PLC on Friday said it had agreed to pay $ 600 million and that a subsidiary pleaded guilty to a criminal charge to solve US allegations that it participated in an illegal system to increase prescriptions for its opioid-dependent Suboxone.

The Slough, English-based firm said it had reached an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. State Attorneys General and will make the payments over a seven-year period.

As part of the deal, Indivior Solutions Inc., a subsidiary, sued earlier in the day in the federal court in Abingdon, Virginia, on a bill for making a false statement on health issues in 2012, a spokesman for the company said.

The Justice Department agreed to dismiss all charges against the parent company in a lawsuit that was revealed in April 201

9, the company said. It was one of the few corporate allegations related to the US opioid addiction epidemic.

That indictment alleges that Indivior tricked doctors and healthcare programs into believing that the film version of Suboxone, which has an opioid component, was safer and less susceptible to abuse than similar drugs.

The indictment said that Indivior also used an Internet and telephone program designated as a resource for opioid addicts to connect them to doctors who it knew prescribed Suboxone and other opioids at high prices and under suspicious circumstances.

Prosecutors said the system began before the British consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser spun off Indivior. Reckitt Benckiser last year agreed to pay $ 1.4 billion to settle related claims.

Indivior said it is also resolving a civil lawsuit that the Justice Department joined in 2018 as well as a separate investigation by the FTC.

Indivior's former CEO, Shaun Thaxter, pleaded guilty last month to a misdemeanor offense arising from the investigation.


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