Reckitt Benckiser (PK) (USOTC:RBGLY)
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1 Year : From Apr 2019 to Apr 2020
By Adria Calatayud
Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC is set to pay $1.4 billion to settle all U.S. investigations into the sales and marketing of an opioid-addiction treatment made by a former subsidiary.
The company said Thursday it had reached agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to resolve their long-running investigations into Suboxone Film. The agreement also covers claims relating to Medicaid programs for those states choosing to participate in the settlement.
Suboxone Film, a prescription medicine that dissolves in the mouth, is made by Reckitt's former pharmaceuticals business, Indivior, which was demerged from the company in 2014.
The U.S. charged Indivior in April with organizing a multibillion-dollar fraud to drive up sales of the product. As part of the indictment, Indivior was accused of setting up a telephone and online program intended to connect callers with doctors that Indivior knew were prescribing Suboxone or opioids in a "careless and clinically unwarranted manner." Indivior denied those charges.
Reckitt, the owner of Durex condoms and Dettol cleaning product, said it has acted lawfully at all times and denied all allegations that it engaged in any wrongful conduct.
However, it said it believed the settlement was in the best interests of the company and its shareholders, allowing it to avoid the costs, uncertainty and distraction associated with investigations.
The criminal charges against Indivior earlier this year came as the U.S. government has taken a more aggressive approach to fighting the opioid crisis, with thousands of lawsuits filed against opioid manufacturers and distributors.
In 2017, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public-health emergency and has taken steps to crack down on international and domestic drug-supply chains.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 11, 2019 04:08 ET (08:08 GMT)
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