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

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(Reuters) – Reckitt Benckiser <RB.L> will pay $700 million (£543.27 million) to New York and five other states as part of an agreed settlement over allegations that the drug distributor improperly marketed a drug to treat opioid addiction, New York Attorney General Letitia James said on Wednesday.

The payment is a part of an up to $1.4 billion settlement agreed to in July to resolve U.S. 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 to the federal government and up to $200 million to states that opt to participate in the agreement.

Indivior in April was indicted and 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.

As part of the agreement, New York’s Medicaid program will receive more than $71.9 million in recoveries, with more than $39.9 million being returned to New York State, James said. (https://on.ny.gov/31I36N4)

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Subhranshu Sahu)

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