Maryland has joined 35 other states in filing an antitrust lawsuit against opioid drug treatment manufacturers.
The suit alleges the manufacturers conspired to block competition for a drug used to treat opioid addiction. Consumers shouldered artificially high costs for the treatment drugs and the manufacturers benefited financially from the monopoly.
The Baltimore 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.”
As reported in Governing, the states suing the manufacturers include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
For more information: