Indivior to pay $289M in criminal penalties for Suboxone marketing

Pharmaceutical company Indivior was ordered to pay $289 million in criminal penalties in connection to its guilty plea related to marketing opioid addiction treatment drug Suboxone, the Justice Department said Nov. 12. 

Indivior and its parent companies have been ordered to pay more than $2 billion in total to settle Suboxone litigation. 

Indivior pleaded guilty in July to making false and misleading statements about Suboxone to MassHealth, Massachusetts' Medicaid program. The drugmaker said that in October 2012, it tried to persuade MassHealth to expand coverage of Suboxone by sending a misleading chart and false data to make it seem that Suboxone had the lowest rate of accidental pediatric exposure of all buprenorphine drugs in Massachusetts, when it did not. 

The company has agreed to permanently disband its Suboxone sales force and take steps to prevent promoting it to healthcare providers at high risk of inappropriate prescribing. 

"Suboxone is a vital treatment for patients recovering from opioid addiction, and Indivior thwarted lower-cost generic alternatives to maintain its lucrative monopoly of the drug," said Gail Levine, a deputy director of the Federal Trade Commission's bureau of competition. "Working closely with the DOJ, the FTC was able to secure compensation for patients harmed by Indivior’s anticompetitive scheme and ensure that the company does not engage in similar conduct in the future."

Read the Justice Department's full news release here

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