Connecticut joins antitrust lawsuit over generic opioid treatment

HARTFORD, Conn. (WNTH) – Connecticut has joined 34 other states and the District of Columbia in a lawsuit against the maker of a drug used to treat opioid addiction. The suit accuses the maker of Suboxone, a prescription drug used to treat opioid addiction, of engaging in an illegal scheme to block other companies from creating a generic version of the drug.

Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – now known as Indivior PLC – and MonoSol Rx are accused of conspiring to switch Suboxone from a tablet version to a film, which dissolves in the mouth, in order to prevent or delay generic alternatives and maintain artificially inflated profits. The states allege that the companies’ behavior violates both state and federal laws.

Suboxone is a brand-name prescription drug used to treat heroin and other opioid addictions by easing addiction cravings. No generic alternative to Suboxone film is currently available.

“One of my highest priorities is determining if the dramatic increases in pharmaceutical prices over the last several years- for both brand and generic drugs – reflect violations of laws within my authority to enforce,” said Attorney General Jepsen. “In this case, we have a brand-name pharmaceutical manufacturer that sought to protect its profits by preventing lower-priced generic alternatives from entering the prescription drug market. The circumstances alleged in this case are particularly egregious in that, in the midst of an epidemic of opioid abuse and addiction, Connecticut consumers and taxpayers have had to pay more for a drug that may help to mitigate some of the problem.”

In addition to Connecticut, and led by the Wisconsin Attorney General, other states joining this lawsuit include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington and the District of Columbia.

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