Indivior Solutions was sentenced to pay $289 million in criminal penalties in connection with a previous guilty plea related to the marketing of the opioid-addiction-treatment drug Suboxone. The sentence was pursuant to a plea agreement.
In total, the payments made by Indivior Solutions and its parent companies, Indivior Inc. and Indivior plc, along with payments made under a 2019 resolution with Indivior’s former parent, Reckitt Benckiser Group plc, and criminal penalties paid pursuant to plea agreements with two former Indivior executives will exceed $2 billion.
That amount represents the second-largest monetary resolution obtained by the Department of Justice in a case involving an opioid drug.
Suboxone, which contains the powerful opioid buprenorphine, is a drug product approved for use by recovering opioid addicts to avoid or reduce withdrawal symptoms while they undergo treatment for opioid-use disorder.
In connection with its guilty plea, Indivior Solutions admitted to making false statements to the Massachusetts Medicaid program (MassHealth) related to the relative safety of Suboxone Film, a version of Suboxone, around children.
Indivior Solutions pleaded guilty on July 24, 2020, to a one-count felony criminal information charging false statements relating to health care matters.
Last June, Indivior’s former CEO, Shaun Thaxter, pleaded guilty to a one-count misdemeanor information related to Indivior’s false and misleading representations to MassHealth. He was sentenced to a six-month term of incarceration and $600,000 in criminal fines and forfeiture.
Last August. Indivior’s former medical director, Tim Baxter, pleaded guilty to a one-count misdemeanor information related to Indivior’s false and misleading representations to MassHealth. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 17.
Indivior Solutions that in October 2012 it sought to convince MassHealth to expand Medicaid coverage of Suboxone Film in Massachusetts and sent MassHealth a misleading chart and 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.