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US drugmaker Indivior to pay $102.5 million to settle Suboxone monopoly claims


By Jonathan Stempel and Mariam Sunny

(Reuters) -Indivior Plc said on Friday it agreed to pay $102.5 million to settle a lawsuit by dozens of U.S. states accusing it of illegally suppressing generic competition for its opioid addiction treatment Suboxone.

The North Chesterfield, Virginia-based drugmaker denied wrongdoing in resolving claims by 41 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., which would end a lawsuit that began in 2016.

Indivior also agreed to make additional disclosures to the states to ensure it does not use anticompetitive tactics.

Suboxone was approved for U.S. sale in 2002, and Indivior had the exclusive right to sell the treatment in tablet form until 2009.

States said Indivior switched to an oral film version of Suboxone from a tablet version to extend its monopoly, just as generic manufacturers were poised to sell their own lower-cost tablets. Generic tablets obtained federal approval in 2013.

Indivior’s settlement requires approval by the federal judge in Philadelphia who oversees nationwide antitrust litigation concerning Suboxone. A trial had been scheduled for Sept. 18.

“However long it takes, we will continue to hold companies accountable for alleged anticompetitive activities,” Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, whose state led the lawsuit, said in a statement.

Indivior expects to pay the $102.5 million in cash this month. It set aside $290 million last year for potential costs in antitrust litigation.

More than 80,000 people in the United States died in 2021 from overdoses involving opioids, out of more than 107,000 drug overdose deaths overall, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

(Reporting by Mariam Sunny in Bengaluru and Jonathan Stempel in New YorkEditing by Maju Samuel and Matthew Lewis)

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