WV Attorney General reaches settlement involving opioid withdrawal drug-maker

West Virginia News

FILE – In this Nov. 1, 2018, file photo, Patrick Morrisey speaks to reporters after a debate in Morgantown, W.Va. State attorneys general are finding a national settlement over the toll of opioids to be elusive, as some lawyers for state and local governments are renewing public criticism of the proposed deal with a group of companies led by the nation’s largest drug distributors. In a statement Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, Morrisey, the attorney general in West Virginia, one of the states hit hardest by the opioid crisis, said the $22 billion in cash being offered by distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson plus drugmaker Johnson & Johnson “is way too low.”(AP Photo/Raymond Thompson, File)

CHARLESTON, W.V. (WFXR) – West Virginia’s Attorney General Patrick Morrisey reached a multistate settlement to resolve allegations that a pharmaceutical company falsely and aggressively marketed and promoted Suboxone, leading to improper use of state Medicaid funds.

The company, Indivior, will provide West Virginia more than $5.2 million.

The state will keep more than $1,36 million while the rest will reimburse federal Medicaid programs – a matter consistent with previous Medicaid settlements.

“Marketing a product using false claims – particularly claims regarding safety of a drug – can have dangerous outcomes. This type of fraud also takes Medicaid resources away from those who need them most. We must never cease in our efforts to root out fraud, waste and abuse.”

Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia’s Attorney General

The settlement resolves allegations that between 2010 and 2015, Indivior promoted the sale and use of Suboxone to physicians that prescribed the drug without a legitimate medical purpose and knowingly promoted the sale or use of Suboxone film based on false or misleading claims that it was less susceptible to diversion than Suboxone tablets.

The agreement also resolves allegations that Indivior submitted a petition to federal regulators in September of 2012 by fraudulently claiming the Suboxone tablet had been discontinued in an attempt to delay generic competitors from entering the market.

Nationally, more than two-thirds of Indivior’s $300 million payout will go to the Medicaid programs.

West Virginia’s Bureau of Medicaid Services will receive approximately $583,384 of the state’s share.

A copy the settlement can be found below.

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