LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas has gained a victory in the fight against opioid addiction Wednesday, as it joined with a multi-state coalition in a court victory.
The Arkansas Attorney General announced the state prevailed in a judicial decision in an antitrust lawsuit against an opioid addiction treatment company. Arkansas was part of a 41-state coalition in the action which will proceed to trial based on Wednesday’s decision. This will allow the lawsuit to go forward.
At issue is a lawsuit the 41 states brought against Indivior, Inc. and Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, Inc. which make the drug Suboxone. Suboxone is used to treat opioid addiction. In the lawsuit, the coalition charged that Indivior had made changes to the drug to maintain its market monopoly.
The suit was filed in the Easter District of Pennsylvania federal district court.
Indivior had asked the court for a summary judgment, which would have ended the lawsuit. In Wednesday’s ruling, Judge Mitchell Goldberg denied the motion for summary judgment, meaning the lawsuit may continue to trial.
The states charge that Indivior had changed Suboxone from a pill to a film form, while at the same time trying to destroy the market for pills. If successful, Indivior would be able to maintain its market monopoly.
The trial is expected to take place later this year.
States other than Arkansas in the coalition are Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.