Thursday, 24 May, 2018

North Dakota joins other states in suing Purdue Pharma for opioid promotion

Texas, 5 other states sue Purdue Pharma, alleging deception that led to opioid overdose deaths Tennessee Attorney General sues Purdue Pharma – Investigations of other opioid manufacturers and distributors
Jerome Frank | 17 May, 2018, 00:30

"Our office has conducted an extensive investigation into Purdue's highly aggressive marketing practices and other unlawful conduct", Slatery said in a statement.

Paxton said he's leading Texas to sue Purdue for several reasons including for lying to doctors and patients about the possibility of increasing opioid dosages without risk, falsely representing that common signs of addiction are signs the patient needs higher opioid dosages and misrepresenting the risk of becoming addicted to the company's abuse-deterrent formulation OxyContin.

"Defendants convinced doctors that instead of being addictive and unsafe for long-term use in most circumstances, opioids were required in the compassionate treatment of chronic pain", Simon wrote of opioid manufacturers.

Lawsuits already have been filed by 16 other USA states, Puerto Rico and New York City against the privately held company.

Slatery has been under pressure to sue companies that make and distribute opioids, but he'd resisted until now, saying he wanted to gather more information before going to court.

In 2007, Purdue Pharma did not admit wrongdoing when it paid $19.5 million to settle lawsuits with 26 states and the District of Columbia after being accused of aggressively marketing OxyContin to doctors while downplaying the risk of addiction.

In a statement, Acting Attorney General Underwood said that NY is readying its litigation against the opioid manufacturer for "its alleged deception and reckless disregard for the health and well-being of New Yorkers".

Stenehjem says depending on how the settlement progresses goes, the state could amend its complaint to add other manufactures or bring separate suits.

Texas, North Carolina, Nevada, Florida and North Dakota are joining the state's lawsuit.

Last year, Shelby County Commissioners filed a lawsuit against almost 20 different drug manufacturers, doctors and pharmacies.

"We are committed to holding opioid manufacturers and distributors accountable for the damage they've wrought on New York's towns, communities, and families", Underwood said.

"Needless to say, our country is feeling a lot of pain in the hands of pain pills", Paxton said. In March, Slatery filed motions to intervene, or take over, the lawsuits.

"Purdue's deception lined the pockets of its owners and led to the deaths and hospitalization of thousands of Nevadans", Nevada state Attorney General Adam Laxalt said in a statement. A settlement could mean billion dollar payouts. The decision came as the industry battles an avalanche of lawsuits from individuals, cities, counties, states and Native American tribes related to an epidemic of opioid abuse. The cases have been consolidated before a federal judge in Ohio.

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