(Boise) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has announced Idaho and other states have reached an agreement with Indivior plc and Indivior Inc. to settle allegations that the company falsely and aggressively marketed and promoted the drug Suboxone, resulting in improper expenditures of state Medicaid funds. Suboxone is a drug approved for use by recovering opioid addicts to avoid or reduce withdrawal symptoms while they undergo treatment. Suboxone and its active ingredient, buprenorphine, are powerful and addictive opioids.
Indivior will pay $300 million to resolve various civil fraud allegations impacting Medicaid and other government healthcare programs. Idaho’s share is $95,019 and will be paid out over seven years. Approximately $38,000 will go to the state’s Medicaid program and $57,000 to the state’s general fund.
The civil settlement resolves allegations that, from 2010 through 2015, Indivior (a) promoted the sale and use of Suboxone to physicians who were writing prescriptions that were not for a medically-accepted indication, were issued without any counseling or psychosocial support, were for uses that were unsafe, ineffective, and medically unnecessary and that were often diverted; (b) knowingly promoted the sale or use of Suboxone Sublingual Film based on false and misleading claims that Suboxone Sublingual Film was less subject to diversion and abuse than other buprenorphine products and that Suboxone Sublingual Film was less susceptible to accidental pediatric exposure than Suboxone Sublingual Tablets; and (c) submitted a petition to the Food and Drug Administration on September 25, 2012, fraudulently claiming that Suboxone Tablet had been discontinued “due to safety concerns” about the tablet formulation of the drug and took other steps to fraudulently delay the entry of generic competition for various forms of Suboxone in order to improperly control pricing of Suboxone, including pricing to the states’ Medicaid programs.
The settlement includes all 50 states as well as Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. It resolves the claims against Indivior brought in six lawsuits in federal courts in Virginia and New Jersey.
The Idaho Medicaid Fraud Control Unit receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $789,836 for federal fiscal year (FY) 2021. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $263,277 for FY 2021, is provided by the State of Idaho.