Generic Drug Distributor Sues Suboxone Maker for Monopolizing Treatment Market

The generic drug distributor Rochester Drug Co-Operative Inc. has sued the maker of the opioid addiction treatment Suboxone for allegedly monopolizing the opioid treatment market, Bloomberg reports.

The maker of Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone), Reckitt Benckiser Group, developed a film version of Suboxone that is placed under the tongue, to replace the tablet form of the drug. According to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Delaware, this prevented competition, because pharmacists cannot substitute the cheaper generic version.

“Reckitt concocted a multifaceted anticompetitive scheme, executed over the course of several years, to maintain and extend its monopoly power,” Rochester Drug stated in its complaint. The article notes Suboxone is used to help control opioid withdrawal symptoms.

In September, 2012, Reckitt notified the Food and Drug Administration it was voluntarily discontinuing the supply of Suboxone tablets in the United States, due to increasing concerns with children’s exposure and risk for accidental poisonings. The U.S. Poison Control Centers found consistently and significantly higher rates of accidental unsupervised pediatric exposure with Suboxone tablets, compared with the film.

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    James Deans

    July 1, 2016 at 7:27 PM

    In our county a child took a small portion of the suboxone tablet and is now brain dead for the rest of his life. It was in the news. The strips are much less likely to cause an accidental overdose. The thing is instead of making an actual tablet that was just a lower dose to promote tapering the suboxone makers developed the strip in even higher doses. Now they have a 12 mg strip which could easily kill two kids if split in half. They state the strip should not be cut for tapering because the medication could be unevenly distributed.

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    RJs Mom

    February 14, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    That is a step in the right direction..I think. Is there any way to find out how many of those “accidental” poisonings there were? In 2008, my 17 year old son apparently took it and died.

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