Pennsylvania is among 35 states and the District of Columbia that filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that opioid drugmaker Indivior tried to keep generic versions of Suboxone off the market.
The British company known today as Indivior was granted FDA approval in 2002 for Suboxone tablets, which are used to treat patients addicted to heroin and other painkillers.
The complaint says that when its exclusive rights to sell the drug expired in 2009, Indivior conspired with pharmaceutical dissolving-film company MonoSol Rx to market an oral strip form of the drug that they then marketed as safer than tablets.
"The alleged scheme the defendants utilized denied consumers the choice of a generic version of Suboxone," Pennsylvania Attorney General Beemer said. "This conduct forced consumers to pay more for Suboxone and severely limited their options for treating their opioid addictions."
The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania also names New Jersey's MonoSol Rx.
Representatives of the two companies were not immediately available for comment.