Attorney Sara Watkins has been appointed to the steering committee for Suboxone. Read More Here.

Patients Prescribed Suboxone Film for Opioid Dependence Suffer from Dental Decay

Multidistrict Litigation

The exponential rise in opioid prescriptions by pharmaceutical companies, despite awareness of their addictive nature, has led to a staggering toll of over 760,000 lives lost to drug overdoses since 1999. Shockingly, nearly 75% of drug-overdose deaths in 2020 involved opioids.

Today, countless victims of the opioid epidemic continue to struggle, desperately seeking safe and reliable support to manage their condition. Despite this, the American pharmaceutical industry continues to fail them. Driven more by market competition and expedience than by consumer safety, these individuals find themselves victimized once more.

At Robert Peirce & Associates, we understand the dire consequences individuals face due to dangerous and defective drugs. Our dedicated team specializes in representing clients dealing with such issues.

Recovering from opioid addiction often involves medication-assisted therapy, with medications like methadone, naltrexone, or buprenorphine, which help reduce cravings and the risk of relapse. Among these, Subutex and Suboxone tablets emerged early as pivotal treatments for opioid disorders, offering maintenance therapy for chronic pain or addiction.

In 2002, the FDA approved Suboxone tablets for managing opioid dependence. However, in an effort to avoid more affordable generic competition, the company transitioned to developing Suboxone film in 2006. While this dissolvable film promised the same therapeutic benefits as the tablet form, it concealed a troubling issue: new onset tooth decay linked to dissolvable film.

By 2022, the FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication warning. Despite mounting evidence of tooth decay, the original labels for Suboxone film failed to warn consumers of this risk. Even as concerns grew and medical reports surfaced, no action was taken to update the labels under the FDA's regulatory framework.

A Multidistrict Litigation case (MDL) has been organized against the makers of Suboxone film in the Northern District of Ohio. An MDL is a legal process used in United States district courts to handle numerous civil cases across the country that share common issues of fact. The Suboxone MDL consists of multiple plaintiffs from all around the nation who have suffered the harmful side effects caused by Suboxone film.

Sara Watkins, an attorney at Robert Peirce & Associates, was recently appointed to leadership in the Suboxone MDL. In her role as a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) she will assist in overseeing the Suboxone cases pending in the Northern District of Ohio. A highly regarded leadership role, her membership on the PSC and will allow Watkins to litigate alongside other lawyers and oversee all details of the nationwide cases consolidated under this MDL.

Attorney Watkins comes to the Suboxone MDL with extensive experience in litigating class actions, pharmaceutical/device cases, civil rights matters, personal injury suits, and professional liability matters. In particular, in 2022, she was appointed to leadership in the SoClean, Inc. Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation MDL (MDL No. 3021), and she has worked closely with leadership in the Philips Recalled CPAP, Bi-Level Pap, and Mechanical Ventilator Products Litigation MDL (MDL No. 3014) and East Palestine Train Derailment consolidated class action litigationas well.

“The victims of the opioid epidemic continue to be victimized, here by a drug manufacturer that cared more about profits than patient safety,” said Watkins. “These victims put their trust into a medication they were told was safe, only to suffer further with severe dental issues, all because the drug’s manufacturer was more interested in making money than patient safety. It is wrong and these people deserved better.”

If you believe you have a claim that could be part of the Suboxone MDL, certain criteria must be met to qualify:

  • You have taken Suboxone film (not the tablet);
  • Your use of Suboxone film must be prior to June 1, 2022
  • Your use of Suboxone film must be within the past ten years
  • You must have suffered broken teeth, tooth loss, and/or extractions
  • Dental problems must have developed at least six months after first using Suboxone film.

For over 40 years, Robert Peirce & Associates has been providing supportive and compassionate legal representation to people who have been injured due to negligent pharmaceutical companies. Contact Sara Watkins at Robert Peirce & Associates for guidance and expert legal counsel regarding the Suboxone film MDA. Call today at 412-281-7229 or visit

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