Drug Company Behind Suboxone Settles with US Government

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I recently wrote about the groundbreaking lawsuits that were won against Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin, for deceptive marketing that cost many people their lives. Suboxone, a drug many people in the substance abuse rehabilitation field rely on to help patients detox, is now thought to have been marketed with deceptive practices as well. I am writing on the blog of one of the best drug rehabs in Florida, Florida Springs in Panama City, Florida. The medical professionals at Florida Springs Wellness and Recovery Center use buprenorphine most every day, and buprenorphine is a drug that helps many people. Suboxone, however, was marketed as a new and better version of that drug, and we now know that is not the case. Suboxone works the same way that generic buprenorphine would work, and the company that makes Suboxone took steps to make generic forms of the drug harder for people and states to obtain. 35 attorneys general from U.S. states have now won a major judgment from the drug maker, and the company, Reckitt Benckiser, now must try to defend themselves despite already having to pay out over 1.4 billion dollars.

To be clear, most of the best drug rehabs in Florida or anywhere else use drugs like methadone and buprenorphine. Safely and comfortably detoxing opioid-dependent patients is virtually impossible without the drugs. For many years now, Suboxone has been synonymous with buprenorphine itself, as the major brand name in the marketplace. Now we know that states and individuals were tricked into paying higher prices by a corporation that did not care about patients. If a patient did not have the 500 to 600 dollars a month for the brand name Suboxone, they were, in almost all cases, out of luck and not able to obtain buprenorphine in generic form. Reckitt Benckiser wanted it that way, and they fought to keep poorer people from getting a generic drug that they did not invent. People almost certainly died because of the actions of the company, and capitalism is not a defense for going out of your way to hurt people that cannot afford a vital drug. 

In my home state of Indiana, the actions of Reckitt Benckiser have had an effect on many people. I did some investigation into Indiana, and I must assume that the last decade was similar in other states as well. Since 2010, there have been just a few places where opioid-dependent addicts could go for methadone treatment. In Indianapolis, I found one or two licensed methadone clinics, and I found many people complaining of overcrowding and draconian conditions, but I cannot speak to that personally, I can just say that only a few methadone treatment centers exist in the state as a whole. For everyone who cannot go to those centers for methadone each and every day to avoid sickness, Suboxone was the only other choice for the last decade. In Indiana, the average cost for a Suboxone patient was 500 dollars a month, and only a few doctors were permitted to prescribe Suboxone. Unlike the methadone centers, doctors can only see one patient at a time, and apparently wait times at these doctors were in the 3-9 month range. So, if you needed to get into a Suboxone treatment program this month, you would be out of luck. What is the reason for that? A commitment by the state to help make profits for drug companies like Reckitt Benckiser, and absolutely no visible commitment to the people of Indiana who needed treatment options. That is as simple as I can put it. If you are in Florida and you are looking for the best drug rehabs in Florida, please look to the program page on FlaSprings.com for more information.

I should say in this case that these opinions that I express about the conduct of Reckitt Benckiser and lawmakers in various states are my own opinions, and do not represent the opinions of anyone else or any organization that I work for.

By T.A. Cannon (Contact me at TACannonWriting@gmail.com)