JPML Centralizes Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuits
The nationally recognized mass tort law firm Levin Papantonio Rafferty (LPR) announces that the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) created a multidistrict litigation (MDL No. 3092) for In re: Suboxone (Buprenorphine/Naloxone) Film Products Liability Litigation.
The JPML issued a Transfer Order on Friday, February 2, 2024, to centralize lawsuits in which claimants allege they were prescribed and used sublingual film Suboxone for opioid addiction or pain management and experienced cavities, tooth loss, tooth fractures, tooth decay, tongue injuries, and/or gum injuries.
Over 20 pending actions and future tag-along cases will be transferred to the Northern District of Ohio for the purpose of consolidating pretrial hearings. Thirteen actions are pending in this district. The MDL has been assigned to the Honorable J. Philip Calabrese. This will be the first MDL over which Judge Calabrese will have presided.
This is the rare MDL where every party asked for the same district and same judge.
As stated in one Plaintiffs' Brief: "Although this would be Judge Calabrese’s first MDL as a judge, his qualifications and complex-civil-litigation experience cannot be doubted. Further, he will be able to draw on his district colleagues’ experience in managing such matters, including Judge Polster’s handling of the opioid MDL."
The Transfer Order renamed the litigation, with no objection from involved parties, "because the litigation does not currently encompass marketing or sales practices claims."
LPR Attorney Sara Papantonio is representing claimants in Suboxone lawsuits on behalf of the law firm.
"We have a company taking advantage of people who have already been victimized by the manufacturers of opiates," Papantonio said. "And now, when these people are taking steps to correct their addiction and get their lives back using this drug called Suboxone, they’re facing an increased risk of severe dental disorders."
The Defendant in these actions is Indivior, maker of Suboxone.
About the Alleged Suboxone Injuries
In 2022, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warned about the risk of dental problems linked to medications with the active ingredient buprenorphine, and the key ingredient in Suboxone.
Suboxone is a buprenorphine and naloxone opioid addiction treatment drug made by pharma company Indivior. By taking this drug, an opioid partial agonist, people suffering from addiction or opioid use disorder (OUD) can help reduce their physical dependency on opioids. However, partial agonists reduce saliva production, which can prompt tooth decay as a side effect of usage.
This is particularly true of Suboxone, which comes in film form. Patients tuck the film under their tongues or inside their cheeks until the film dissolves.
“The film is incredibly acidic,” Papantonio explained, “and as it sits in the mouth, it’s causing terrible tooth decay. In some cases, people are losing teeth in an entire half of their mouths.”