Makers of Suboxone Agrees $1.4 BILLION Settlement!!!

Makers of Suboxone Agrees $1.4 BILLION Settlement!!!

On Thursday, Reckitt Benckiser Group agreed to a settlement of $1.4 billion to resolve its possible criminal and civil liability relating to a federal investigation. The federal government was investigating the marketing of  Suboxone, which is an opioid addiction treatment drug. Suboxone is a product that is approved to be used by recovering opioid addicts, to help reduce the symptoms of withdrawal. The active and most addictive ingredient in Suboxone is buprenorphine.

According to the Justice Department’s report, RB Group and its subsidiary Indivior Inc. allegedly engaged in a nationwide scheme to increase the prescriptions of Suboxone. RB Group resolved its possible criminal liability from the conduct alleged of Indivior, by agreeing to a settlement of $647 million. They got that particular number from the profits RB Group received from Indivior. RB group also agreed to not sell, manufacture, or market any Schedule I, II, III controlled substances for the next three years.

The indictment also alleged that Indivior promoted a film version of Suboxone to it’s clients as a less abusable alternative and also that it was safer around children, even though the company had no evidence of their claims. Indivior is also alleged to have used their “Here to Help” program as the engine to their scheme. They supposedly used that program to connect patients with doctors that it knew would provide opioids in a careless manner against federal law and regulations.

Furthermore, the indictment alleged that Indivior discontinued its tablet form of Suboxone due to false reasoning. Instead, they introduced the Suboxone film due to “concerns regarding pediatric exposure” to tablets. This was a tactic used by Indivior to stall the FDA’s approval of a generic and cheaper alternative to Suboxone.

The scheme is also alleged to have been highly successful and among other things caused state Medicare to expand coverage to the their new Suboxone film. This of course cost the government and subsequently the people a tremendous amount of money.

For the civil settlement, RB Group paid a sum of $700 million to resolve claims that their marketing of Suboxone caused false claims to be sent to government health care programs. $500 million of the settlement will go to the federal government, while up to $200 million will go to the states that are participating in the settlement.

The allegations for the civil suit was that RB Group knowingly promoted Suboxone to physicians without the proper credentials; who were then writing prescriptions to patients that didn’t have a medical reason to obtain the prescription. It was alleged that RB Group promoted the sale of Suboxone film to doctors and state Medicaid agencies using misleading and false claims. They claimed that Suboxone film was less susceptible to pediatric exposure.

The government also alleged that RB Group falsely claimed they were discontinuing the Suboxone tablets for safety reasons. In reality the government claims that they used that as an excuse to illegally control pricing of their drug.

RB Group additionally agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission $50 million to end claims that they used, “unfair methods of competition in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act.” RB Group also agreed to notify the FTC if they begin to market drug products in the United States. On top of that, RB group agreed to disclose all studies and data relevant to any drug product to the FDA.

Of course due the settlement of both, the criminal and civil liability, RB Group maintains the benefit of the doubt that all allegations are allegations only and that there is no legal determination of liability. Also, due to the fact that Indivior Inc.’s criminal trial is in May 2020, they are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Regarding the historic settlement, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring stated,

 “This is a landmark moment in our fight to hold drug companies responsible for their role in the opioid crisis. We will not allow anyone to put profits over people, or to exacerbate or exploit the opioid crisis for their own benefit. The Virginia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Expertise, capacity, and diligent investigation, combined with strong relationships with local, state, and federal partners, held make this resolution possible.”
 
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Author: 777 Media Source

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