Indivior relieves Suboxone hangover with $385m deal


Indivior has reached an agreement to settle all outstanding claims over allegations of improper marketing of its opioid use disorder drug Suboxone Film in the US.

The latest settlement of $385 million is with direct purchasers of Suboxone Film (buprenorphine/naloxone) and comes after the UK drugmaker paid $30 million to resolve litigation with insurers in the US in August, as well as a $103 million payment in June to resolve claims brought by more than 40 states.

Indivior – the former pharma business of Reckitt Benckiser – said the settlement means a pending jury trial that was due to start on 30th October will now not go ahead. It will take a $228 million charge in connection with the settlement in its third-quarter accounts, with the remaining $157 million due to be booked in November, and will fund the settlement with available cash.

Indivior also paid out $300 million to resolve civil claims from US states in 2021, and a $600 million plea deal to settle criminal fraud charges in 2020, and the company said the latest deal with wholesalers will allow it to put years of litigation behind it.

The lawsuits alleged that the drugmaker made false and misleading claims that Suboxone Film was less subject to diversion and abuse, and less likely to be accidentally swallowed by children, blocking generic competition that would have reduced pressure on healthcare budgets during an epidemic of opioid abuse.

“We are pleased to achieve this settlement to conclude this legacy multi-district antitrust matter,” said Indivior's chief executive, Mark Crossley.

“The resolution of this litigation, which was filed over a decade ago, provides greater certainty for all Indivior stakeholders and allows us to continue focusing on our important work for patients suffering from opioid use disorder and mental health illnesses around the world.”

Shares in the company rose more than 5% after the deal was announced and investors welcomed the resolution of the issue, which has been hanging over the company since it spun out of Reckitt Benckiser in 2014.

Now, Indivior can dedicate its resources to its new generation of products, including recently approved Opvee (nalmefene) nasal spray, an alternative to naloxone-based products like Emergent BioSolutions’ Narcan that it acquired as part of its $145 million takeover of Opiant Pharma earlier this year.