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AG Nessel Announces $300 Million Multistate Settlement with Suboxone Maker
April 29, 2021
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today that Michigan will receive more than $4 million in a settlement agreement involving Indivior PLC and Indivior Inc. (Indivior).
This settlement covers six federal lawsuits and involves Indivior's product Suboxone, a buprenorphine drug that was approved for use by recovering opioid addicts to avoid or reduce withdrawal symptoms while they undergo treatment.
Allegations detailed in lawsuits assert that, from 2010 through 2015, Indivior:
- promoted the sale and use of the drug to physicians who were writing prescriptions without having a medical purpose;
- knowingly promoted Suboxone Sublingual Film based on false and misleading claims that it was less subject to diversion and abuse than other buprenorphine products and less susceptible to accidental pediatric exposure than Suboxone Sublingual Tablets; and
- improperly controlled pricing of Suboxone, including pricing to state Medicaid programs, by submitting a petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on September 25, 2012, fraudulently claiming that Suboxone Tablet had been discontinued "due to safety concerns" and taking other steps to fraudulently delay the entry of generic competition for various forms of Suboxone.
Indivior will pay a total of $300 million to resolve these civil fraud allegations, which impacted Medicaid and other government programs. Michigan's settlement portion was determined by a litigation damage model based, in part, upon drug overpayments from each state.
"My office is dedicated to holding drug companies accountable for their actions," Nessel said. "We are particularly focused on behavior fueling the opioid epidemic and this settlement serves as a win in the fight against a national crisis."
This settlement follows the Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC ("Reckitt") settlement with the federal government and the states in 2019, which involved similar allegations involving Suboxone.
The Michigan Department of Attorney General Health Care Fraud Division receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $5,025,536 for federal fiscal year 2021. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $1,675,177, is funded by the State of Michigan.