ABINGDON, Va. - Federal authorities today announced a $1.4 billion settlement with the marketers of Suboxone, a powerful opioid treatment drug.,
Global consumer goods conglomerate Reckitt Benckiser Group has agreed to pay $1.4 billion to resolve its potential criminal and civil liability related to a federal investigation of the marketing of the drug Suboxone, according to a written statement.
The resolution – the largest recovery by federal prosecutors in a case concerning an opioid drug – includes the forfeiture of proceeds totaling $647 million, civil settlements with the federal government and the states totaling $700 million, and an administrative resolution with the Federal Trade Commission for $50 million.
Suboxone is a drug product approved for use by recovering opioid addicts to avoid or reduce withdrawal symptoms while they undergo treatment. Suboxone and its active ingredient, buprenorphine, are powerful and addictive opioids.
“The opioid epidemic continues to be a serious crisis for our nation, and I’m proud of the work the Department of Justice and our partners are doing to address this epidemic,” said Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Claire Murray.
Until December 2014, RB Group’s wholly owned subsidiary, Indivior Inc. (then known as Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc.) marketed and sold Suboxone throughout the United States. In December 2014, RB Group spun off Indivior Inc., and the two companies are no longer affiliated.
On April 9, a federal grand jury sitting in Abingdon indicted Indivior for allegedly engaging in an illicit nationwide scheme to increase prescriptions of Suboxone. The United States’ criminal trial against Indivior is scheduled to begin on May 11, 2020, in the United States District Court in Abingdon.
To resolve its potential criminal liability stemming from the conduct alleged in the indictment of Indivior, RB Group has executed a non-prosecution agreement that requires the company to forfeit $647 million of proceeds it received from Indivior and not to manufacture, market, or sell Schedule I, II, or III controlled substances in the United States for three years. In addition, RB Group has agreed to cooperate fully with all investigations and prosecutions by the Department of Justice related, in any way, to Suboxone.