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Indivior ex-CEO sentenced to jail in the US over misleading safety claims

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Indivior PLC’s (LON:INDV) former chief executive Shaun Thaxter has been sentenced to a prison term in the US for misrepresentations regarding the safety of the company’s main drug.

A US Federal Court committed Thaxter to six months in prison and ordered penalties of US$0.6mln to be paid in fines and forfeiture.

As CEO of Indivior, whose main product, Suboxone Film, is designed to help recovering opioid addicts avoid or reduce withdrawal symptoms, Thaxter “failed to prevent efforts to build profits through misleading safety claims, which led to millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains for Indivior”, the US Attorney Daniel P Bubar said.

Indivior earlier this year agreed to pay US$600mln to resolve liability to the US related to the marketing of Suboxone, following a US$1.4bn similar payment from former parent Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC (LON:RB.) last year.

Thaxter, who was in charge of Indivior from 2009 until June this year, on Thursday pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count under the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine.

Indivior put out a statement on Friday to point out that the plea agreement between Thaxter and the US Department of Justice “is in his personal capacity and not on behalf of Indivior”.

It noted that its separate agreement with the US government in connection with the US$600mln payment from July 24, “remains unchanged”.

However, it still remains subject to approval by a federal judge, with a hearing having been scheduled for November 12.

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