Historic $1.4 Billion Settlement Against Parent Corporation of Opioid Manufacturer of Suboxone
Reckitt Benckiser Group, parent of Suboxone maker Indivior, Inc., agreed in 2019 to pay a total of $700 million to resolve claims that the marketing of Suboxone caused false claims to be submitted to government health care programs.
We represented one of the six whistleblowers who brought this important case under the False Claims Act, which was intervened by the U.S. Department of Justice and numerous state attorneys general. Reckitt Benckiser Group also agreed to pay another $700 million in criminal fines and penalties, which brought the total settlement up to $1.4 billion, among the largest qui tam settlements of all time.
The intervened claims were that Reckitt Benckiser Group for itself and by and through affiliates and subsidiaries, knowingly: (a) promoted the sale and use of Suboxone to physicians who were writing prescriptions without any counseling or psychosocial support and for uses that were unsafe, ineffective, and medically unnecessary and that were often diverted for uses that lacked a legitimate medical purpose; (b) promoted the sale or use of Suboxone Film to physicians and state Medicaid agencies using false and misleading claims that Suboxone Film was less susceptible to diversion and abuse than other buprenorphine products and that Suboxone Film was less susceptible to accidental pediatric exposure than tablets; and (c) submitted a petition to the Food and Drug Administration claiming that Suboxone Tablet had been discontinued “due to safety concerns” about the tablet formulation of the drug and took other steps to delay the entry of generic competition for Suboxone in order to improperly control pricing of Suboxone, including pricing to federal healthcare programs.
Court: United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia