A federal judge in Virginia has sentenced opioid-addiction drug maker Indivior Solutions (LON:INDV) to pay $289 million in criminal penalties linked to the marketing of the drug Suboxone, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.
In all, Indivior will pay a total of $600 million to resolve civil and criminal liabilities for downplaying safety risks tied to Suboxone.
Randy Ramseyer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia prosecuted the case against Indivior.
The company’s former parent, Reckitt Benckiser Group, agreed last year to pay $1.4 billion to the Department of Justice to settle Suboxone-related complaints. The amount was the largest sum the U.S. has recovered in an opioid drug case.
The opioid-addiction treatment combines the opioid buprenorphine and naloxone, a drug that blocks the effects of opioids. The drug is intended to reduce withdrawal symptoms in opioid addicts.
Indivior Solutions pleaded guilty thus summer to a single felony related to making false healthcare statements.
The company also admitted to making false claims regarding the risk of Suboxone sublingual film use in children.
The company also will disband its Suboxone sales force and avoid promoting the drug to healthcare providers likely to prescribe the medication inappropriately.
“Combating the opioid epidemic is a top priority for the Department of Justice,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark of the Justice Department’s Civil Division in prepared remarks. “We will hold drug manufacturers accountable when they make misrepresentations that could affect consumers’ access to opioid addiction treatments.”
Indivior’s former CEO, Shaun Thaxter, pleaded guilty on June 30, 2020, to a misdemeanor related to making false and misleading statements to MassHealth. The court sentenced Thaxter to a six-month prison term and $600,000 in criminal fines and forfeiture.
Thaxter had been CEO since 2009.
The company’s former medical director, Tim Baxter, pleaded guilty to a similar charge and is scheduled for sentencing in December.