Monday 25 January 2021 8:40 pm

Clean slate: Dettol-maker Reckitt Benckiser withdraws $1.4bn claim against Indivior

Reckitt Benckiser will withdraw a $1.4bn claim against Indivior, which in turn will pay the Dettol-maker $50m to end the legal battle related to a US probe into opioid addition.  

The settlement, which will be paid over five years, offers some respite to the London-listed drugmaker, which was once owned by Reckitt.

Read more: Dettol maker Reckitt Benckiser boosts sales on UK hygiene kick during pandemic

Reckitt and Indivior also agreed to drop all liabilities against each other, and Indivior will not seek damages relating to its $600m settlement with the US Department of Justice and the $10m it paid the Federal Trade Commission, the drugmaker said.

In July Indivior’s subsidiary pleaded guilty to a felony charge to resolve US allegations that it had engaged in an illegal scheme to boost prescriptions of its opioid addiction treatment Suboxone Film – its top-selling drug.

Read more: Surging Dettol demand amid pandemic pushes Reckitt Benckiser’s profit higher

The United States has been cracking down on pharmaceutical firms it believes have fuelled the opioid addiction crisis in the country, and Reckitt agreed to pay up to $1.4bn in 2019 to resolve claims against its former pharmaceuticals unit.

Indivior was indicted in early 2019 and accused of deceiving US doctors and healthcare benefit programs into believing the treatment, itself a form of opioid, was safer and less susceptible to abuse than similar drugs.

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The long-running US investigations into the London-listed companies began much before Indivior was spun out from Reckitt in 2014.

Indivior shares closed down roughly 2% at 127.9 pence before the settlement was announced, whereas Reckitt ended the day 4.5% higher at 6,554 pence.

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