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Judge: Suboxone 'Product Hopping' LawSuit May Proceed

Analysis  |  By John Commins  
   August 30, 2022

The suit alleges that Indivior violated antitrust laws to preserve its Suboxone monopoly.

A federal judge in Philadelphia has ruled that 42 states may go forward with their antitrust “product hopping” lawsuit against Indivior Inc., the maker of the addiction treatment drug Suboxone.

The class-action suit, led by Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, alleges that Indivior in 2010 switched from a tablet to an under-the-tongue film strip while simultaneously attempting to "destroy" the market for tablets to preserve its drug monopoly.

"The cost of critical medication must not be inflated through anticompetitive tactics," Kaul said in a media release. "I'm proud that Wisconsin DOJ is leading this multistate litigation and thank AAG Cooley for her tireless efforts to hold the makers of Suboxone accountable."

In an 86-page ruling, the U.S. District Court Mitchell Goldberg denied Indivior's motion to toss the suit, saying the complaint against the drug maker was backed by sufficient facts and favorable law.

The multistate coalition filed a lawsuit in 2016, claiming that Indivior's tactics were anticompetitive and designed only to maintain Indivior's monopoly, a scheme known as a "product hop," which the states claim violates state and federal antitrust laws.

Indivior has claimed the switch was done to address safety concerns. 

A trial is expected next year. 

“The cost of critical medication must not be inflated through anticompetitive tactics.”

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

U.S. District Court Mitchell Goldberg denied Indivior's motion to toss the suit, saying the complaint against the drug maker was backed by sufficient facts and favorable law.

The multistate coalition filed a lawsuit in 2016, claiming that Indivior’s tactics were anticompetitive and designed only to maintain Indivior's monopoly, a scheme known as a "product hop."

The states have argued that Indivior's product hopping scheme violated state and federal antitrust laws. Indivior has claimed the switch was done to address safety concerns.


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