Suboxone is a buprenorphine medication used for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). Upon receiving FDA approval and exclusive market access in 2002, Suboxone’s manufacturer, Indivior Inc., dominated the medication-assisted treatment (MAT) market and rapidly devised various forms of the medication to capitalize on growing demand and to suppress competition.
Unfortunately, Suboxone taken sublingually has the potential to result in serious dental complications which neither the primary manufacturer nor its affiliates disclosed to the public. As a result, Suboxone users are filing product liability lawsuits which impugn the dishonest and irresponsible business practices of the pharmaceutical companies.
In order to file a Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit, users must satisfy certain criteria including qualifying prescription dates, proof of medical and dental complications, and eligibility under relevant statutes of limitation. If you received a Suboxone prescription prior to June 2022 and subsequently developed dental issues, consider contacting us today for more information.
Eligibility for Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuits
In recent months, over 100 Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits have been filed in a variety of districts throughout the country. Given the common questions of fact and the similarity of the allegations, select plaintiffs have already petitioned the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation for pretrial case consolidation.
We anticipate a dramatic increase in court filings in the near future as the pending litigation acquires more traction and oral buprenorphine users learn of their eligibility to file a Suboxone lawsuit. Although every case and claim is unique, essential criteria for eligibility include:
Suboxone Prescription Prior to June 2022
In January 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public warning about the risks of dental complications associated with oral Suboxone use. The agency’s decision was largely a response to the litany of adverse event reports (AERs) it had received through its MedWatch portal.
The development did not immediately prompt a substantial response from Indivior, which equivocated in revising the safety label of Suboxone. Only when the FDA mandated an update in June were prospective Suboxone users properly informed of the medication’s potential to cause tooth erosion and decay.
However, those who used oral buprenorphine-naloxone prior to June 2022 were unaware of the risks the medication posed. As a result, they may be eligible to file a Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit in an effort to recoup their financial and emotional losses. Unfortunately, those who have only started using Suboxone after January 2022 are not eligible since the warning of tooth decay risk was in place by that time.
Dental Complications After Suboxone Use
Aside from establishing that they received a Suboxone prescription before the safety label revisions, plaintiffs must also prove that they sustained serious injuries on account of Indivior’s “failure to warn”. In order to satisfy the burden of proof standard, Suboxone users should collect paperwork from doctor and dentist appointments, surgeries and procedures, and the associated billings.
During pretrial proceedings, a product liability lawyer will reference these documents to establish a correlation between your Suboxone use and subsequent dental issues, which may include:
- Dental caries
- Root canals
- Tooth extractions
- Oral infections
- Cracked teeth
Statute of Limitations for Suboxone Lawsuits
Statutes of limitation establish a legal timeframe within which a claim is eligible in a court of law. A failure to file suit prior to the expiration date may permanently bar an otherwise eligible plaintiff from pursuing a lawsuit for a specific injury or set of injuries.
The statutes of limitation for defective drug lawsuits commonly activate on the date of an injury or diagnosis of a condition. In the Suboxone litigation, however, many users suffered from dental issues prior to the use of oral burprenorphine, which catalyzed rather than caused further complications.
These circumstances may result in a technical gray area under your state’s statute of limitations for product liability lawsuits. In order to resolve complex questions, we recommend speaking with a qualified Suboxone tooth decay lawyer as quickly as possible.
Who Is Liable in Suboxone Lawsuits?
Drug manufacturers are required to inform users of the risks they incur from taking a prescription medication. A failure to do so represents a breach of duty of care, which could render them liable for injuries uninformed users sustained.
Indivior Incorporated possessed nearly two decades of user reports from the FDA and clinical research definitively proving Suboxone’s potential to cause dental issues. Nevertheless, the pharmaceutical company refrained from revising its safety label until an FDA mandate, in June 2022. As a result of Indivior’s silence, long-term Suboxone users suffered a litany of painful dental issues, many of which required extensive medical intervention.
In addition to Indivior Incorporated, pending Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits list Aquestive Therapeutics Incorporated and Reckitt Benckiser, Indivior’s former parent company. Both Indivior affiliates either contributed to the development of oral Suboxone or approved of its inaccurate marketing.
How Does Suboxone Work?
Buprenorphine-naloxone relies upon a semi-synthetic opiate that binds to the brain’s mu receptors, thereby reducing the symptoms of opioid withdrawal and diminishing cravings. Indivior Inc. initially released Suboxone as an oral tablet, but quickly developed alternative modalities to outcompete similar medications after the expiration of its 7-year period of market exclusivity.
The primary culprits in the ongoing litigation are sublingual and buccal Suboxone films, which dissolve slowly in the mouth and drastically increase oral acidity levels. The ensuing chemical imbalance can result in the demineralization of tooth enamel and gradual dental decay.
Studies Link Oral Buprenorphine to Tooth Erosion and Decay
Substantiating a “failure to warn” charge often requires plaintiffs to prove that irresponsible drug manufacturers either knew or ought to have known of the harmfulness of their medications. In the context of Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits, plaintiffs cite various clinical studies published over the course of the past decade that link oral buprenorphine to dental issues.
For example, a sweeping 2022 Suboxone study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) observed that oral Suboxone users displayed noticeably higher rates of dental caries and tooth loss in comparison to control groups. The discovery corroborated earlier findings from a 2013 case series in The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders.
There are several hypotheses that researchers advance for the mechanism by which oral buprenorphine contributes to or causes a rapid decline in dental health, including:
- Increased oral acidity
- Decreased salivary buffering or flow
- Virulence of Streptococcus mutans
Common Damages in Suboxone Lawsuits
Plaintiffs in Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits are currently seeking compensation from Indivior Inc. and its affiliates for the injuries caused by oral buprenorphine’s inaccurate warning label. This financial relief provides crucial assistance to those who have suffered both economic and non-economic losses, such as:
- Medical costs — past, present, and future
- Lost wages and income
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
Devising a fair and reasonable compensation figure, however, requires an extensive analysis of a prospective plaintiff’s claims and injuries. In spite of accessible online resources that claim to provide accurate estimates for Suboxone lawsuit case value, we strongly urge interested users to speak with one of our experienced product liability lawyers.
Contact a Qualified Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawyer Today
Indivior Incorporated has a long history of deception and willful disregard for ethical business tactics. Over the course of the past five years alone, it has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars to settle a series of antitrust violations and illicit marketing schemes.
Now that users of Indivior’s famous oral buprenorphine medication are seeking accountability and compensation, we want to help. Our qualified Suboxone tooth decay lawyers offer free consultations to determine the eligibility of your claim and the damages to which you may be entitled. Moreover, Our Suboxone lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis, which means they don’t get paid unless they successfully resolve your case.
With considerable familiarity in defective drug litigation involving Uloric, Ozempic, Tepezza, and Tylenol, our product liability lawyers know how to build compelling cases and pursue them tirelessly. If you have any questions about the eligibility of your Suboxone tooth decay claim, contact us today.