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What Are The Suboxone Lawsuits About?

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Suboxone Lawsuits

Suboxone is a combination medicine that rose to prominence during the opiate crisis, providing a new way to treat opioid addiction by satisfying the body’s cravings. As one of the more notable medications for opioid addicts, it has been used by many patients throughout the years at varying dosage levels.

However, that has not made Suboxone a perfect solution to a difficult problem. In fact, recent lawsuits have done the exact opposite, exposing some major issues – and health risks – stemming from how Suboxone was marketed and sold to medical professionals by its creators.

But what were these Suboxone lawsuits actually about, and why do they matter so much for an otherwise useful medication? If you have had any experience with using Suboxone, or know people who have, then it is important to know where these lawsuits stemmed from.

What Caused the Suboxone Lawsuits?

Suboxone is one of the main products offered by Indivior, a pharmaceutical company that originally split off from the Reckitt Benckiser company in 1994. While it produces multiple core products, Suboxone is the most notable, with its modern version being sold as a sublingual film that can be used simply by placing it under the tongue.

Suboxone is used to treat opioid addiction, effectively replicating the satisfaction of an addict using opioids without the negative effects. This allows for a smoother recovery process without having to force the patient to suddenly go cold turkey, which can be a risky move in many cases.

In theory, this means a product that has no major drawbacks and is perfect for treating addictions to far more dangerous substances. However, Suboxone’s marketing and testing stages had many faults that left obvious gaps in the patient’s safety.

The Incorrect Marketing

When the sublingual Suboxone was introduced to replace the tablet variety, Indivior pressured doctors to use it by making claims like it was a safer option – something that was not actually true. The sublingual film is not any safer than other versions, making this a direct case of false advertising.

While this might not sound all that important at first, it is key to remember that this claim will have influenced which products were prescribed to patients. Indivior’s marketing push left doctors assuming that the product was safer, which will have impacted their decisions for how they treat their patients.

Not only does this mean that the product was marketed falsely, but it also becomes an even bigger problem when you consider the other lawsuits that were raised against Indivior.

The Dental Damage

Suboxone was tested, but not to the extent that it should have been. Evidence had been found that Invidior either ignored test results or did not fully test the product over a long period of time, leading to a major issue: people with acidic saliva often had Suboxone begin to dissolve their teeth.

This dental damage ranged from minor cosmetic damage to extreme long-term dental corrosion, with severe tooth decay being common. This could manifest anywhere from a week after using it to months later, long after the patient is able to do anything to prevent the decay.

The lawsuits have been filed because Invidior never mentioned this possibility, nor did they mention it on their warning label. Until the FDA stepped in, the company did not even update its label once the tooth decay cases began appearing, meaning that many patients were unaware.

This damage led to many patients needing unexpected dental work, some of which were significant and involved multiple root canals. Even those without symptoms would still always have a chance of suddenly suffering massive amounts of tooth decay with no way to reliably prevent it.

This, combined with the fact that Suboxone was sold by the same company as a safer replacement for an existing product, meant that many lawsuits came from former patients and doctors. Neither were aware of the risks or informed of the dangers previously.

The Company’s Knowledge

Evidence suggests that Invidior either knew the risks and ignored them or did not do enough testing, both of which meant that they were negligent in their duties as pharmaceutical producers. Suboxone was meant for widespread commercial use, which makes these side effects even worse.

Individual doctors were not responsible for testing the safety of the product – Invidior were. No matter the reason, patients were left with no way to learn about these risks, and doctors had no information to help them assist their patients when they inevitably began to suffer major dental damage.

Suboxone is technically a defective product due to its potential to cause damage to unprepared patients. This damage completely invalidates the claim that it is safer. The marketing defects especially mean that Suboxone was prescribed to a wide range of patients who would otherwise have avoided dental harm.

Whether the company simply did not do enough testing or actively refused to disclose the dangers to keep profits high, they are at fault for providing a product that causes active harm to its users without any warning label explaining the risks.

What Happened With The Lawsuits?

So many lawsuits were filed that it is impossible to keep track of which ones were handled. However, Indivior pleaded guilty to felony information and had to pay $600 million to MassHealth due to their Suboxone being used on young children.

If you are curious to know more about how the lawsuits were filed and what kind of lawsuits were made, then the Oberheiden law firm has an excellent breakdown of the entire scandal. If you or a loved one were victims of the Suboxone situation, it can also be important to see if you can file a lawsuit of your own.

Many people lost income and suffered major dental damage as a result of what happened with Indivior’s Suboxone, and there could be many more people who have still yet to make any kind of claim. The statute of limitations may still be open for many former patients, so if you are looking to file a lawsuit, make sure you do it as soon as possible.

Suboxone caused a lot of harm and distress, despite being a functional and useful treatment tool. Thankfully, many patients have been able to get compensation fitting for the damages they suffered.

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