Thursday 11 July 2019 8:58 am

Reckitt Benckiser agrees $1.4bn settlement in US opioid case

Reckitt Benckiser said today it has agreed to pay $1.4bn (£1.1bn) to settle a case in the US over its opioid addiction treatment.

The London-listed company agreed the fine after being accused by the Justice Department of illegally increasing prescriptions for Suboxone Film.

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The firm this morning confirmed that it had almost quadrupled its estimates for what the case will cost. It has set aside $1.5bn for the settlement and any lawsuits that may follow.

The case concerns the Suboxone drug, which was sold by then-subsidiary Indivior. The indictment claims that Indivior hiked bills by getting insurers to pay for a more expensive version of the drug.

They included the state-run insurance programmes for low-income and elderly people, Medicare and Medicaid.

“While RB has acted lawfully at all times and expressly denies all allegations that it engaged in any wrongful conduct, after careful consideration, the board of RB determined that the agreement is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders,” a statement from the company said today.

The deal also means that Reckitt Benckiser will not be barred from US government healthcare programmes.

“This is clearly a necessary step for RB to finally move forward and put these claims and risk of ongoing investigation to rest,” said Liberum analyst Robert Waldschmidt.

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The firm sold Indivior in 2014.

Separately Indivior soared on the London Stock Exchange today, rising after Suboxone lost market share slower than expected.

Main image credit: Getty