October 23, 2019 / 9:04 PM / 20 days ago

New York, states reach $700 million settlement with Reckitt over opioid probes

(Reuters) - New York and other states have reached a $700 million settlement deal with Reckitt Benckiser over allegations that the drug distributor improperly marketed a drug to treat opioid addiction, New York Attorney General Letitia James said on Wednesday.

The deal is a part of an up to $1.4 billion settlement agreed to in July to resolve U.S. state and federal claims that Reckitt Benckiser’s former pharmaceuticals business Indivior, before it was spun out, carried out an illegal scheme to boost sales of opioid addiction treatment Suboxone.

The $700 million settlement amount consists of $500 million for the federal government and as much as $200 million for states that opted into the civil agreement, which did not determine liability.

New York's Medicaid program will receive more than $71.9 million, with more than $39.9 million being returned to New York State, James said. (on.ny.gov/31I36N4)

Indivior is also facing U.S. criminal charges. The British drugmaker was indicted in April, accused of deceiving doctors and healthcare benefit programs into believing Suboxone Film, itself a form of opioid, was safer and less susceptible to abuse than similar drugs.

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Peter Henderson and Noeleen Walder; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Grant McCool

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