Federal prosecutors charged a U.K. pharmaceutical company with organizing a multibillion-dollar fraud to drive up sales of Suboxone Film, an opioid-addiction treatment.
As part of an indictment filed Tuesday in Virginia, the Justice Department said Indivior PLC INDV, +0.00% set up a telephone and online program intended to connect callers with doctors that Indivior knew were prescribing Suboxone or opioids in a “careless and clinically unwarranted manner.”
The criminal charges come as the U.S. government has taken a more aggressive approach to fighting the opioid crisis, with thousands of lawsuits filed against opioid manufacturers and distributors.
In 2017, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency and has taken steps to crack down on international and domestic drug-supply chains. The Justice Department is seeking at least $3 billion and control of other property from Indivior, previously the pharmaceuticals business of Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC. RB., +0.00%
Also popular on WSJ.com:
Want news about Europe delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to MarketWatch’s free Europe Daily newsletter. Sign up here.