April 11, 2019 / 4:39 PM / 14 days ago

Indivior’s loans take hit following fraud claims

NEW YORK, April 11 (LPC) - Pharmaceutical company Indivior’s loan dropped in secondary trading following criminal charges relating to its Suboxone drug.

In an indictment Tuesday, prosecutors allege Indivior deceived healthcare providers by claiming the film version of Suboxone was less addictive than the tablet form and other available drugs on the market, and then illegally reaped billions by pushing prescriptions.

Indivior’s term loan that matures in 2022 was quoted with a bid as low as 84 cents on the dollar on Wednesday, before being quoted higher at 90-94 on Thursday, according to sources. The loan was quoted at 98-99 on Monday, one of the sources said.

The term loan currently has US$243m outstanding, according to Indivior’s most recent annual earnings review published last month. The company has to maintain a minimum US$250m cash balance to comply with its covenants.

Suboxone is used to treat opioid addiction, which the US Food and Drug Administration has said is a national epidemic.

UK-headquartered Indivior made a Suboxone film alternative to the tablet form that dissolves under the tongue. This was ahead of the expiration on the patent protection for its Suboxone tablet due to expire in 2009.

The indictment alleges Indivior promoted the film version as safer than the tablet form, despite “no scientific studies to establish that Suboxone Film was safer with regard to diversion, misuse or pediatric safety.”

Federal prosecutors are seeking to recover at least US$3bn from the company.

“The deadly opioid epidemic continues to devastate communities and families across our nation. The Department of Justice intends to hold accountable those who are in position to know the harm opioid abuse inflicts, but instead choose to profit illegally from the pain of others,” Jesse Panuccio, principal deputy associate attorney general, said in a news release Tuesday announcing the indictment.

Indivior rejected the claims in a statement issued on Tuesday and said it will fight the charges.

“We are extremely disappointed in this action by the Justice Department, which is wholly unsupported by either the facts or the law,” the company said in the statement. (Reporting by David Brooke. Editing by Michelle Sierra and Jon Methven)

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