On April 27, 2021, the California Attorney General announced that Invidior plc and Invidior Inc. (collectively, “Invidior”) agreed to pay $300 million to settle claims that it falsely and aggressively marketed Suboxone, a drug product approved for use in recovering opioid addicts.
From 2010 through 2015, Invidior allegedly promoted the sale and use of Suboxone to physicians who were writing prescriptions lacking a legitimate medical purpose, without any counseling support, and for unsafe, ineffective, and medically unnecessary purposes. Invidior also purportedly knowingly promoted the sale or use of Suboxone Sublingual Film based on false and misleading claims that Suboxone Sublingual Film was less likely to be abused than other buprenorphine products and was less susceptible to accidental pediatric exposure than Suboxone tablets.
Last year, Invidior agreed to pay $289 million to resolve the company’s criminal liability, and its former CEO and medical director pled guilty and were each sentenced to single counts of violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act for causing the distribution of misbranded Suboxone Film to enter into interstate commerce. This $300 million settlement was announced in July 2020 in connection with the guilty pleas. California was part of a team of states that negotiated the settlement, which includes payments made to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.