Wisconsin poised to get $7.5M from lawsuit against maker of medication used to treat opioid abuse

The multi-state lawsuit argued the maker of Suboxone tried to stifle generic competition and inflate prices

buprenorphine or Suboxone
In this July 23, 2018, photo, a man holds his prescription medicine Suboxone outside a pharmacy in Greenfield, Mass. Elise Amendola/AP Photo

Wisconsin is poised to get $7.5 million dollars from its share of a settlement with the manufacturer of a drug that’s used to treat opioid addiction.

In 2016, Wisconsin’s then-Attorney General Brad Schimel led 41 states and the District of Columbia in filing a federal lawsuit against Indivior, which makes Suboxone.

The anti-trust lawsuit claimed the pharmaceutical company used illegal means to try and preserve its drug monopoly, so it could stifle generic competition and inflate prices. It alleged the company switched the Suboxone market from tablets to a type of film that dissolves on the tongue, while at the same time it tried to destroy the market for tablets.

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In all, the states are set to get $102.5 million total from the settlement agreement, which was announced Friday and still needs to be approved by a U.S. District Court judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

“We take our role as a responsible steward of medications for addiction and rescue extremely seriously,” Indivior’s CEO Mark Crossley said in a statement about the settlement. “Resolving these legacy matters at the right value allows us to further this mission for patients.”

As part of the settlement, Invidior agreed to notify the participating states about the introduction of new products, changes in corporate counsel or any citizen petitions to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Those stipulations “will help the States ensure that Indivior refrains from engaging in the same kind of conduct alleged in the complaint,” according to a news release from the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Suboxone is prescribed to prevent opioid overdose, reduce cravings and treat withdrawal symptoms.

For help with recovery from addiction, call the free and confidential treatment referral hotline (1-800-662- HELP), or visit findtreatment.gov.

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