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Company Of Murdered California Urologist, Absorption Pharmaceuticals, Files Suit Against Multi-National Maker Of Everyday Household Products For Trade Secret Theft And Fraud

LAS VEGAS, Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --  Known for selling everyday household products commonly found in refrigerators and bathroom cabinets, the widow of prominent California urologist Dr. Ron Gilbert says consumers should know something else about the British conglomerate that makes those products – it has behaved unethically and immorally by attempting to steal her late husband's invention, business plans, and other trade secrets. Absorption Pharmaceuticals, founded and operated by Dr. Gilbert until his violent death in 2013, filed suit yesterday in a Nevada federal District Court [Docket 2:17-cv-00513] against Reckitt Benckiser. Absorption is suing British behemoth Reckitt Benckiser for over $150 million in damages and seeks to stop Reckitt Benckiser from selling Duration, which the complaint alleges is a rip-off of Absorption Pharmaceuticals' popular product, Promescent®. Both Promescent® and Duration are sexual health sprays designed to help men who suffer from premature ejaculation, or PE.

"When I lost Ron four years ago, I knew that his legacy, in addition to our beautiful sons, was the remarkable product he created to help couples who struggled with intimacy," said Elizabeth Gilbert. "Promescent® was an immediate success and has helped tens of thousands of men and women around the world. To see his life's work literally stolen out from under us by a company who, quite frankly, I had never heard of but whose brands I have used for years, was shocking. After the way Reckitt Benckiser treated us, and what I've learned about them since this horrible situation began, I can see why they try to keep their company's name out of the spotlight."

Dr. Gilbert, 52, was shot and killed by a patient in a tragic case of mistaken identity on January 28, 2013, leaving behind a wife and two young sons. Elizabeth Gilbert remains a part owner. Jeff Abraham, who was brought in to run Absorption Pharmaceuticals and who is today its CEO, was a close friend and business partner to Dr. Gilbert.

"Reckitt Benckiser approached our company in 2014, expressing an interest in buying Absorption Pharmaceuticals," said Abraham. "We already had an exciting offer on the table valued at approximately $150 million for our business, but Reckitt Benckiser asked us to hold off because of its stated desire to acquire Promescent®. At Reckitt Benckiser's request, we shared our proprietary sales, marketing, and technical data as part of 'due-diligence' for Reckitt Benckiser's supposed acquisition. We were shocked when we later learned the whole thing was a sham. As alleged in detail in our complaint, Reckitt Benckiser had never intended to buy our company. Instead, they intended to steal our proprietary information so they could launch a competing product using our marketing strategy and other trade secrets. Even worse, they have since set about to destroy Promescent® as a competitor by having our listing on hidden from the general public and stealing shelf space at key retailers."

This is not the first time Reckitt Benckiser has come under scrutiny for its behavior. In 2016, 41 states, including California and the District of Columbia, sued Reckitt Benckiser for fabricating safety claims to maintain its monopoly over Suboxone, a treatment for heroin and opioid addiction that has accounted for as much as 20-percent of Reckitt Benckiser's global profits in recent years.  The Colorado Attorney General, who is one of dozens of state attorneys general suing Reckitt Benckiser in the lawsuit, accused the company of, "shamelessly preying on patients in need of help" and decried, "their unconscionable tactics."

"After Ron's murder, I promised his family I would do everything in my power to preserve his legacy," said Abraham. "On the Promescent® website, we tell Ron's personal story. During my conversations with Reckitt Benckiser, I asked them to keep that story on the website if they purchased the company. They agreed, calling it their 'moral obligation' to do so. Little did I know they gave that assurance at the same time they were planning to steal Ron's company out from under us, as we allege in detail in our complaint. It would seem Reckitt Benckiser has a different definition of morality than I do. This lawsuit is as much about insuring Ron's remarkable legacy, as it is about making sure that they never do this to anyone else."

About Absorption Pharmaceuticals
Absorption Pharmaceuticals is the maker of Promescent®, a lidocaine spray made with careful consideration for the people who use it. Promescent® is the only over-the-counter PE treatment option in North America whose efficacy has been clinically proven. Its revolutionary TargetZone™ technology adheres to all regulations from the FDA placed on health products. This privately held company was founded in 2011 and has seen tremendous growth within the U.S. and internationally. Promescent® is now available through doctors' offices, retailers, pharmacies and online at  Promescent® is a registered trademark of Absorption Pharmaceuticals.     

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SOURCE Absorption Pharmaceuticals
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