PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The company that makes the opioid addiction treatment drug Suboxone has agreed to pay $102.5 million to 41 states and the District of Columbia to settle claims that the company engaged in anticompetitive practices, it announced Friday.
The agreement with Indivior, based in North Chesterfield, Virginia, averts a trial that was scheduled to start later this year.
States, led by Wisconsin, claimed that the company, previously a subsidiary of Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, made modest changes to Suboxone to extend patent protection and keep generic versions of the drug off the market.
Suboxone is a branded version of buprenorphine and naloxone. The case is distinct from claims brought by governments against other opioid makers, claiming they helped cause or deepen a nationwide overdose crisis. Those have resulted in settlements totaling more than $50 billion so far.
Under the terms of the deal, Indivior is to notify the states when it makes product modification or changes in corporate control.
The company said in a statement that settling the lawsuit will allow it to focus on its mission.
Reckitt Benckiser agreed in 2019 to pay the federal government $1.4 billion to resolve potential criminal and civil liability involving its Suboxone business.
Besides Wisconsin, attorneys general involved in the settlement represent: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia
The Associated Press