DOJ Obtains Record-Breaking $1.4 Billion Settlement in Opioid Drug False Claims Act Case
15th July 2019

Reckitt Benckiser Group plc, a British pharmaceutical company and global consumer goods conglomerate (“RB Group”) will pay a record-breaking $1.4 billion to resolve its potential civil and criminal liability related to its marketing of Suboxone, an opioid addiction treatment drug. The settlement is the largest opioid drug case recovery ever and includes the forfeiture of proceeds totaling $647 million, civil settlements with the federal government and the states totaling $700 million, and an administrative resolution with the Federal Trade Commission for $50 million.

Suboxone was approved for use by recovering opioid addicts to aid with withdrawal symptoms while undergoing treatment. Suboxone and its active ingredient, buprenorphine, are powerful and addictive opioids. Allegations by the federal government include that RB Group marketed Suboxone to physicians who were writing prescriptions for unsafe and medically unnecessary purposes and made false claims that the sublingual film was less likely to be abused and diverted than other buprenorphine products.

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