Intended for healthcare professionals


UK firm pays $1.4bn to settle US allegations over opioid marketing

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 15 July 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l4715
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

The UK conglomerate Reckitt Benckiser, maker of Durex and Lysol, will pay $1.4bn (£1.1bn; €1.2bn) to resolve civil litigation and criminal investigations launched by the US government over its marketing of Suboxone, an opioid addiction treatment. It is a record payout in litigation stemming from the US opioid epidemic and one of the biggest settlements ever paid by a drug company to the US government.12

The firm, which is based in Slough, Berkshire, and which also makes Dettol, Strepsils, Gaviscon, Nurofen, Clearasil, and Vanish, will pay $1.15bn to the federal government and $200m to states whose programs covered patients receiving Suboxone, to avoid criminal prosecution for fraudulent marketing.

The payment will also resolve civil allegations that the company used its “Here to help” patient advice service to “connect patients to doctors it knew were …

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