Reckitt Benckiser Buys Back Remaining Rights to Suboxone & Subutex
Reckitt Benckiser Group plc (RB) today announces that it is buying back the sales and marketing rights to the buprenorphine-containing products Suboxone®, Subutex® and Temgesic®* from Merck & Co., Inc.** for approximately £100 million. The rights apply to a number of countries in Europe and the rest of the world, and were due to revert to RB mid-2012. With this acquisition the majority will now revert two years earlier, starting 1 July 2010. The incremental net revenue to RB associated with these rights would have been approximately £80 million for full year 2009, if RB had owned them.
RB currently has management control of the sales and marketing of these products in only two sizeable markets, namely the US and Australia. With this purchase, RB will have a wholly-owned international franchise for Suboxone and Subutex.
RB and Merck's MSD will work closely to ensure a smooth transition in the best interests of patients and healthcare professionals. RB aims to retain as many as possible of the dedicated commercial staff involved in the business, in conformity with applicable local laws. The company will also be investing in additional sales and marketing capability.
Given the current scale of the business outside of the US and the investment needed, the impact of this transaction on RB's financial results in 2010 will be limited.
* Suboxone® and Subutex® are opioid dependence treatments and Temgesic® is an analgesic.
** (through an affiliate, "MSD"). Merck & Co., Inc. was previously known as Schering-Plough Corporation
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