The manufacturers of the opioid withdrawal medication Suboxone are being accused of failing to warn users about the risk of severe tooth decay associated with their sublingual film. Pharmaceutical manufacturers Indivior and Aquestive Therapeutics are facing significant public scrutiny and a growing number of product liability claims based on their negligence. If plaintiffs are able to demonstrate that the companies’ actions led to their severe dental injuries, Indivior and Aquestive Therapeutics may be held liable for their damages.
Our team at Dolman Law Group has been at the forefront of this effort because we believe that Suboxone users are entitled to accurate information about the potentially devastating side effects of their treatments. You can schedule a free consultation with us by calling (727) 451-6900 or completing our online contact form.
Manufacturers of Suboxone Face Product Liability Lawsuits Over Failure to Warn
Plaintiffs have named Indivior, Inc. and Aquestive Therapeutics Inc. as the two primary defendants in the Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits. Aquestive Therapeutics is focused on creating medications to fulfill unmet medical needs such as nausea pills for chemotherapy patients, while Indivior specializes in Buprenorphine-based drugs used to treat opioid addiction. Both companies contributed to the development of the sublingual film version of Suboxone, but Indivior is the main manufacturer of the medication.
Before becoming an independent drug manufacturer, Indivior was originally a branch of the global consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser. Now known as Reckitt, the multi-billion dollar operation produces everything from Enfamil baby formula to Mucinex cold medicine to Lysol disinfectants. In 2014, Reckitt Benckiser made the decision to spin off Indivior, which was valued as a multi-billion dollar business in its own right.
As the manufacturers of Suboxone, Indivior and Aquestive Therapeutics have a legal duty to provide accurate warning labels so patients and providers can make informed decisions about using the drug. Plaintiffs allege the pharmaceutical manufacturers were aware that a sublingual administration of Suboxone would increase the risk of tooth decay or they should have been aware considering that they specialize in similar drugs and had reports of problems with tooth decay, but they failed to warn users. If Suboxone users can successfully argue that this was negligent and led to their dental injuries, Indivior and Aquestive Therapeutics could be held liable in product liability lawsuits.
Suboxone Manufacturer Has a History of Legal Trouble
The current litigation involving Suboxone’s unreported side effects is by no means Indivior’s first major legal confrontation. Indivior was entangled in a years-long dispute with drug wholesalers who claimed that the company had executed an illegal effort to prevent other manufacturers from producing a generic version of Suboxone once Indivior was no longer entitled to monopolize the market. Indivior had previously been granted this right under the FDA’s controversial Orphan Drug policy, but it was set to end in 2009.
In a ploy to stifle any competition from marketing a generic version of Suboxone, Indivior updated their tablet form of Suboxone to a sublingual film to be placed under the tongue, without making any fundamental alterations to the chemical composition of the drug so they could continue to benefit from their Orphan Drug classification. It is this same design alteration that is largely responsible for their current legal situation with Suboxone users.
Ultimately, Indivior was forced to pay drug wholesalers $385 million in damages resulting from their antitrust violations, but that was only one example of Indivior’s concerning pattern of using manipulative tactics to increase profits. In 2019, the Justice Department alleged that Indivior had engaged in fraudulent marketing practices by misrepresenting the sublingual film version of Suboxone as a safer product, as well as conducting a scheme to push patients toward doctors who were more likely to prescribe Suboxone. Indivior settled for hundreds of millions after pleading guilty.
Suboxone Users Report Alarming Side Effects Including Tooth Decay
Individuals who are in the process of treating opioid use disorder often rely on medications like Suboxone to withstand the brutal experience of withdrawal and avoid relapsing. The key ingredients in Suboxone are Naloxone, a partial opioid antagonist that is found in products like Narcan, and Buprenorphine, an opioid partial agonist. Suboxone users who have taken the Buprenorphine-Naloxone drug after it was adapted to be administered as a sublingual film are at a higher risk of serious dental issues.
Studies indicate that the Buprenorphine component of Suboxone is responsible for tooth decay due to its acidity. As the sublingual film remains under the tongue until dissolved, a user’s teeth is exposed to the corrosive elements of Buprenorphine and the PH inside their mouth decreases fostering tooth decay.
Suboxone has also been known to cause dry mouth, creating an environment that is conducive to dental decay. In some cases, decay was noticeable after only a few weeks. Suboxone’s tablet form still contained Buprenorphine, but exposure was lower as users simply swallowed the pill.
Researchers have been aware of a link between sublingual Buprenorphine and dental issues for a decade, but Indivior did not provide this information to Suboxone users. In the meantime, individuals recovering from opioid dependence have been subjected to further injury, expense, pain, and emotional distress after using sublingual Suboxone. The FDA has since rectified Suboxone’s warning label to include the risk of serious tooth decay as of January 2022, but for many users, this amendment comes too late.
How You Can Benefit From Hiring Dolman Law Group to Represent Your Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuit
Indivior has a net worth exceeding 2 billion dollars and a lot to lose if one of its hallmark products is deemed defective, which is to say that they have the resources and motivation to mount a strong legal case in opposition to Suboxone plaintiffs. You need a seasoned team of product liability attorneys with a history of successful settlements to provide the credibility, resources, and expertise necessary for maximizing your compensation.
At Dolman Law Group, we can Should the Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits become a class action, our comprehensive services and experience with mass tort claims will become even more valuable. Clients rely on our team of capable personal injury lawyers to advocate for their best interests, and we are dedicated to exceeding their expectations in terms of service and results.
Contact Dolman Law Group For Help With Your Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuit
Given the ongoing opioid crisis in the U.S., the number of people who qualify for a Suboxone lawsuit is likely to be considerable. At Dolman Law Group, our product liability lawyers are prepared to offer robust representation to Suboxone plaintiffs seeking compensation for damages like medical bills, lost wages, loss of quality of life, and emotional distress.
Although Indivior’s history of using questionable tactics for financial benefit casts doubt on the character of the company, it will still require meticulous investigation and strategic negotiation to hold them liable for Suboxone users’ damages. You will need a relentless product liability attorney to collect and present evidence of negligence, significant dental injuries, and resulting damages in order to maximize compensation for your Suboxone dental decay claim.
If you have used Suboxone’s sublingual film to treat your opioid addiction and have experienced tooth decay or other serious dental issues, we encourage you to get in touch with one of our skilled personal injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group. Schedule a free consultation with our team by calling (727) 451-6900 or completing our online contact form. We can provide a general estimate of what your product liability lawsuit is worth, explain your rights as the injured party, and advise you on the next steps for your Suboxone tooth decay claim.