Reckitt Settles Opioid Case, Teva Deal Questioned

25.10.2019 -

Another US opioid maker has moved to settle charges against it out of court. Reckitt Benckiser will pay $700 million to settle six states' claims that its former Indivior business misled doctors on crucial drug safety questions.

Earlier this year, the company paid $1.4 billion to settle a federal allegations about its addiction-treatment marketing.

New York’s attorney general and justice officials of five other US states claim that Reckitt’s pharma division, which it spun off in 2014 and rebranded as Indivior, misled doctors on the safety of its Suboxone Film.

The latest agreement pushes Reckitt’s total settlements this year to just over $2 billion, The New York fines will benefit the state’s Medicaid (health care for the indigent) program to the tune of nearly $72 million, with more than $39.9 million being returned to the state treasury, the state’s attorney general, Letitia James, said.

James said Reckitt misled the public about the real impacts of Suboxone and encouraged physicians to wrongly prescribe it, while cheating New York out of tens of millions of dollars.

Even if Reckitt now has paid its dues, its spinoff Indivior still faces a federal investigation into Suboxone sales, reports said.

Teva Settlement Questioned

Meanwhile, Teva's offer of $23 billion in free drugs to cover some of its agreed penalty in an opioid settlement with state attorneys general is being eyed critically. According to estimates, the Israeli generics giant will pay significantly less than it initially appeared.

An analysis by the Reuters has concluded that Teva based the value of the drugs it was offering on list prices, which the news agency said did not reflect the actual cost of manufacturing. As a consequence, the drugmaker would only pay close to $1.5 billion. Officials in at least four states are said to have pushed back against Teva’s proposal.