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Maryland among 36 states suing makers of heroin addiction treatment

September 24th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

Maryland and 35 other states filed an antitrust lawsuit Thursday against the makers of the opioid addiction treatment drug Suboxone.

The Balimore Sun reports the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of Pennsylvania, alleges that Reckitt Benckiser, now known as Indivior, and MonoSol Rx conspired to block generic competitors for Suboxone by switching the drug from a tablet to a dissolving film. As a result, consumers have been paying artificially high prices for Suboxone since 2009, when a generic alternative might otherwise have become available.

“The defendants in this case have preyed on a vulnerable population — men and women trying overcome the scourge of opioid addiction,” said Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh in a statement. “Free and fair competition is necessary to keep drug prices affordable and to keep much-needed prescription drugs accessible to those who rely on them for treatment.”

In a statement released Friday, MonoSol Rx denied any wrongdoing.

“We believe that the allegations in the complaint are wholly without merit and the suit is both factually and legally deficient. As a small innovative company with R&D in New Jersey and manufacturing in Indiana, we are proud of our patented technology and the value it has brought to patients and caregivers” Keith Kendall, CEO of MonoSol Rx, said in a statement. “I think it is important to add that Suboxone sublingual film is a product which has saved countless lives since its approval by the FDA in 2010.”

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