Emily Rice Published

W.Va. To Receive $1.5 Million In Suboxone Monopoly Settlement

A prescription pill bottle and a dissolvable strip are seen in someone's hand.
Suboxone, a medicine to treat opioid addiction, helps people struggling with substance abuse by blocking their cravings and physical withdrawal symptoms.
Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

West Virginia will receive close to $1.5 million from a nationwide settlement with the maker of Suboxone, Indivio Inc. 

Suboxone is a prescription medicine used to treat opioid addiction in adults.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced that 41 states and Washington, D.C. have settled with Indivior Inc. for a total of $102.5 million nationwide.

The lawsuit began in 2016 when a coalition of states filed a complaint against Indivior Inc., alleging the company used illegal tactics to preserve its drug monopoly.

The coalition argued the alleged unlawful conduct allowed Indivior time to switch the market to its brand name oral film (a film form that dissolves under the patient’s tongue) before generic manufacturers of the pill form were set to enter the market back in 2009.

“Companies should not resort to improper means to control the market, all the while hurting consumers,” Morrisey said. “Competition is the driving force in a free market economy, and those who resort to improper means will be held accountable to the full extent of the law.”

The agreement requires Indivior to pay a total of $102.5 million.

Indivior is also required to comply with negotiated injunctive terms that include disclosures to the states of all citizen petitions to the FDA, the introduction of new products, or if there is a change in corporate control, which will help the states ensure that Indivior refrains from engaging in the same kind of conduct alleged in the complaint.