Indivior Solutions today pleaded guilty to a one-count felony information and, together with its parent companies Indivior Inc. and Indivior plc, agreed to pay a total of $600 million to resolve criminal and civil liability associated with the marketing of the opioid-addiction-treatment drug Suboxone. Together with a $1.4 billion resolution with Indivior’s former parent, Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC (RB Group), announced in 2019, and a plea agreement with Indivior plc’s former CEO, Shaun Thaxter, announced last month, the total resolution relating to the marketing of Suboxone is more than $2 billion — the largest-ever resolution in a case brought by the Department of Justice involving an opioid drug.
In its guilty plea today, Indivior Solutions, which employed marketing and sales personnel for the Indivior group of companies, admitted to an aspect of the scheme alleged in the indictment. Specifically, Indivior Solutions admitted that, in October 2012, it sought to convince MassHealth to expand Medicaid coverage of Suboxone Film in Massachusetts and sent MassHealth false data indicating that Suboxone Film had the lowest rate of accidental pediatric exposure (i.e., children taking medication by accident) of all buprenorphine drugs in Massachusetts, when in fact, it did not. Indivior Solutions further admitted that sending the false and misleading information occurred in the context of marketing and promotional efforts directed at MassHealth, which were overseen by top executives. MassHealth announced it would provide access to Suboxone Film for patients with children under the age of six shortly after Indivior provided the false and misleading information to agency officials.
“Parties that contract with the government will be held to the letter of the contract,” said Kenneth Cleevely, Special Agent in Charge of the Eastern Field Office for the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General. “The U.S. Postal Service spends billions of dollars per year in workers compensation-related costs, most of which are legitimate. However, when medical providers or companies choose to flout the rules and profit illegally, special agents with the USPS OIG will work with our law enforcement partners to hold them responsible. To report fraud or other criminal activity involving the Postal Service, contact USPS OIG special agents at www.uspsoig.gov or 888- USPS-OIG.”
Except to the extent admitted as part of the criminal resolution, the claims resolved by the civil settlement are allegations only. There has been no determination of liability in the civil case.