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Oral drug delivery company says opioid lawsuit has no merit

Associated Press Associated Press 23/09/2016

SAN FRANCISCO — One of the companies alleged to have conspired to keep generic versions of a popular opioid treatment off the market said that an antitrust lawsuit filed Thursday has no merit.

Attorneys general for 35 states and the District of Columbia filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleging that British drugmaker Indivior and New Jersey's MonoSol Rx conspired to corner the market on Suboxone.

The drug is used to treat people hooked on heroin and other painkillers.

MonoSol Rx chief executive Keith Kendall said in a statement Friday that the company learned of the complaint Thursday night. "We believe that the allegations in the complaint are wholly without merit and the suit is both factually and legally deficient," he said.

The complaint alleges the two companies conspired to make an oral strip form of the drug that they then marketed as safer than tablets, squashing competition.

The attorneys general say the conduct is illegal "product hopping," where a company makes small changes to a product to keep cheaper alternatives off the market, Pennsylvania's Attorney General Bruce R. Beemer said in a press release Thursday.

Indivior has not responded to requests for comment.

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