Attorneys and whistleblowers fighting the battle in the nation’s opioid crisis scored a huge win with a groundbreaking settlement. The law firm of Baron & Budd announced that a False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit it filed against London-based Reckitt Benckiser Group plc (RBG) is part of a total $1.4 billion settlement, the largest settlement to date against an opioid manufacturer. Of the $1.4 billion, $700 million is a settlement of civil claims brought under the FCA.
Baron & Budd represented one of the six whistleblowers who filed cases against RBG and its subsidiaries. The U.S. Department of Justice reached a settlement with RBG to resolve allegations that a former subsidiary of the company, Indivior, improperly marketed the opioid addiction treatment drugs Suboxone tablets, Suboxone Film, and Subutex. Indivior marketed the drugs to physicians for prescriptions that were not for a medically accepted indication and for uses that were unsafe, ineffective and medically unnecessary. The company also made false and misleading comparative safety claims to physicians that Suboxone Film was safer and less likely to be abused. RBG also submitted a knowingly false petition to the FDA that it had discontinued promoting Suboxone tablets “due to safety concerns.”
“Today’s settlement represents a small step in the right direction towards holding opioid manufacturers responsible for their role in creating a public health crisis that continues to plague our country,” said Baron & Budd attorney Scott Simmer. “During the opioid epidemic that has ravaged our country, it was critical that health care professionals and their patients have access to truthful information about drugs like Suboxone that could help save lives. Unfortunately, when drug companies engage in deceptive conduct to enrich themselves at the expense of the Government, this endangers the health and safety of thousands of desperate patients looking to break the stranglehold of addiction. This case should send a strong message that this conduct will not be tolerated.”
Reckitt planned on settling the lawsuits and set aside about $400 million to cover the legal costs. However, the groundbreaking settlement ended up being more than three times the amount expected. Reckitt said the cost of the Suboxone fallout will be funded through existing borrowing facilities and cash generation.
Contact Baron & Budd
Baron & Budd has a history of fighting for communities that have been affected by the opioid epidemic due to the greed and malicious acts of big drug companies. Baron & Budd believes these companies need to be stopped and held accountable for their actions. For more information on how we can help, you can get started online or call (866) 401-5971 to speak with a lawyer about filing a lawsuit for compensation.
If you enjoyed reading this, then please explore our other articles below: