Indivior's legal challenges escalate with new Suboxone subpoena from California

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The California Department of Insurance has subpoenaed Indivior for information relating to Suboxone. (Pixabay)

Already under fire from the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and others, Indivior has disclosed  a new subpoena from the California Department of Insurance relating to its opioid addiction treatment Suboxone. 

The subpoena requests documents about Suboxone's bioavailability, manufacturing records and the potential for patients to become dependent on the med. Indivior said it will "comply with the CDI’s subpoena and will cooperate in any related government inquiry."  

Indivior markets Sublocade and Suboxone in the U.S., both opioid addiction treatments. Sublocade is a subcutaneous injection, while Suboxone is a sublingual film that's placed under the tongue. The company has faced allegations of aggressive marketing and blocking generic competition on its product Suboxone for years.  

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While it still holds more than half the market in the U.S., generics are gaining ground. Earlier this year, Indivior reported that Suboxone's market share fell to 57% in 2017, down from 61% a year earlier, due to generic tablet competition. 

The development comes after Indivior in February raised its provision for investigative and antitrust litigation to $438 million. At the time, the company said it was in discussions with the Department of Justice about a possible settlement. 

In a probe that started in 2013, the Department of Justice is investigating the company's marketing, pediatric safety claims and overprescribing of Indivior drugs by some doctors. The FTC is looking into antitrust matters relating to thwarting generic competition, and 41 states have sued for alleged antitrust violations. 

RELATED: Indivior faces suit by 35 states claiming it 'illegally' blocked Suboxone competitors 

Analysts at Jefferies predict the potential DoJ settlement will make up the lion's share of the company's legal costs, with state subpoenas representing a minority, according to a note seen by Reuters. 

Tuesday's subpoena isn't the company's first from officials in California. The state subpoenaed Indivior in late 2016 and in 2017, according to the company's recent annual results report.

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