Hagens Berman is one of three co-lead counsel firms representing direct purchaser plaintiffs in this class-action lawsuit. The case alleges Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals (now Indivior Inc.) violated federal antitrust laws by delaying generic competition for its blockbuster opioid addiction medicine, Suboxone. The complaint alleges this scheme succeeded, and purchasers incurred substantial damages as a result.

Case Status
Active
Case Caption
In re Suboxone Antitrust Litigation
Position
Co-Lead Counsel for the Direct Purchaser Class
Court
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Case Number
13-md-2445
Defendant(S)
Indivior Inc. (f/k/a Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc.)
File Date

This class-action lawsuit on behalf of direct purchaser plaintiffs of Suboxone alleges Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals violated federal antitrust laws by delaying generic competition for its blockbuster opioid addiction medicine, Suboxone. The lawsuit states that Reckitt’s scheme succeeded, and purchasers incurred substantial damages as a result.

RECKITT’S SUBOXONE SCHEME

The lawsuit alleges Reckitt’s scheme had many parts. First, Reckitt allegedly engaged in an anticompetitive “product switch,” introducing a new, patented formulation of Suboxone as a sublingual “film” so that generic versions of Suboxone tablets could not be substituted for the brand product at the pharmacy counter.

Next, Reckitt allegedly mounted a campaign to disparage the original tablet formulation, claiming without valid scientific basis that the tablets carried higher risk of accidental pediatric exposure, diversion and abuse. The lawsuit states that this was done to convert the market to the new film formulation. Reckitt then advised physicians that the old formulation would be discontinued. As alleged, the purpose of the disparagement campaign was to impair the market for Suboxone tablets ahead of generic competition.

The complaint alleges that after stalling the FDA’s efforts to mandate a shared safety protocol between Reckitt and its prospective generic competitors, Reckitt filed a citizen petition with the FDA. This was done allegedly to block approval of the generics. Ultimately, the FDA denied the citizen petition and approved generic competitors in 2013, but the scheme was successful in converting physicians and patients to the new “sublingual film” formulation before generic competition could begin, injuring competition as well as purchasers of Suboxone.

The class-action lawsuit against Reckitt is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania before the Honorable Mitchell S. Goldberg. Additionally, a group of 42 state attorneys general is pursuing antitrust claims seeking disgorgement of profits from Reckitt Benckiser.

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Hagens Berman is one of the most successful litigation law firms in the U.S. taking on pharmaceutical companies and has achieved more than $320 billion in settlements against Big Pharma largest sellers and manufacturers for antitrust schemes, pay-for-delay, IP shams and other forms of wrongdoing that drive up the costs of prescription drugs for consumers and others.

Case Timeline
Title
Summary Judgment Denied
Description

On August 8, 2022, Judge Goldberg issued an 87-page opinion and order denying Indivior’s motions for summary judgment in their entirety,

Date
Title
Third Circ. Affirms Class Certification
Description

On July 28, 2020, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Judge Goldberg’s order granting the motion for class certification.

Date
Title
Direct Purchaser Class Certified
Description

On Sept. 27, 2019, the Court certified a class of direct-purchaser plaintiffs. Indivior was permitted to appeal the class certification ruling.

Date

CASE TIMELINE

Summary Judgment Denied

On August 8, 2022, Judge Goldberg issued an 87-page opinion and order denying Indivior’s motions for summary judgment in their entirety,

Third Circ. Affirms Class Certification

On July 28, 2020, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Judge Goldberg’s order granting the motion for class certification.

Direct Purchaser Class Certified

On Sept. 27, 2019, the Court certified a class of direct-purchaser plaintiffs. Indivior was permitted to appeal the class certification ruling.

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