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Indivior hit with $600 million in civil and criminal penalties over marketing of opioid addiction treatment

Indivior hit with $600 million in civil and criminal penalties over marketing of opioid addiction treatment
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Drugmaker Indivior Solutions will pay $600 million in criminal and civil liability over its marketing of opioid-addiction treatment Suboxone, the Justice Department (DOJ) announced

Indivior pleaded guilty to a one-count misdemeanor in July for making false statements to Massachusetts’s Medicaid program, MassHealth, in order to expand access to the drug for children. 

Of the $600 million, the company was sentenced to pay $289 million in criminal penalties Wednesday, according to the DOJ. 

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The company admitted to sending false data to MassHealth indicating that the drug had the lowest rate of accidental pediatric exposure of all drugs that contain the opioid buprenorphine in October 2012. Shortly after the company provided the data, MassHealth announced it would provide access to the drug for children under the age of 6. 

Former Indivior CEO Shaun Thaxter pleaded guilty to a one-count misdemeanor in connection with the case in June, and was sentenced to a six-month prison sentence and $600,000 in fines in June. Tim Baxter, the company’s former medical director, has also pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced in December. 

The DOJ previously reached a $1.4 billion resolution with Indivior’s former parent company, Reckitt Benckiser Group, regarding the case. All together, the DOJ said the investigation resulted in more than $2 billion in recoveries. 

“Combating the opioid epidemic is a top priority for the Department of Justice,” Jeffrey Bossert Clark, acting assistant attorney general of the DOJ’s Civil Division, said in a statement. “We will hold drug manufacturers accountable when they make misrepresentations that could affect consumers’ access to opioid addiction treatments.”

Suboxone is used to reduce withdrawal symptoms during treatment for opioid use disorder. 

Indivior told The Hill it had no new comment.