(Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday announced the indictment of Indivior Plc on charges it engaged in an illegal scheme to increase prescriptions of its opioid addiction treatment Suboxone to make billions of dollars.
An indictment filed in federal court in Abingdon, Virginia, alleged Indivior deceived health care providers and health care benefit programs into believing the film version of Suboxone was safer and less susceptible to abuse than similar drugs.
The department alleged that the company sought to boost profits using a program called “Here to Help” that aimed to connect patients addicted to opioids to doctors who the company knew were prescribing painkillers at high rates.
Indivior in a statement said it was “extremely disappointed” by the department’s decision to bring criminal charges against it. The company called the indictment “wholly unsupported by either the facts or the law.”
“The department has apparently decided it would rather pursue self-serving headlines on a matter of national significance than achieve an appropriate resolution,” Indivior said.
Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by David Alexander and James Dalgleish