"My office is holding Purdue Pharma accountable for fueling the nation's opioid epidemic by deceptively marketing prescription painkillers including OxyContin when it knew their drugs were potentially risky and that its use had a high likelihood of leading to addiction", Attorney General Paxton said.
Six more USA states on Tuesday announced lawsuits against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP, accusing the company of fueling a national opioid epidemic by deceptively marketing its prescription painkillers to generate billions of dollars in sales.
Starting past year, Paxton and a bipartisan group of 40 other state attorneys general have been conducting an investigation into whether companies that manufacture and distribute prescription opioids engaged in unlawful practices. Company spokesman Bob Josephson said the civil lawsuits followed months of negotiations with state officials to address the opioid crisis.
In a statement, Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma denied the claims and said the company will defend itself.
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Nevada state Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt speaks at a news conference on a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Las Vegas. Attorney General Paxton's lawsuit seeks significant penalties from the company for its illegal conduct, and a permanent injunction to prevent future harm to Texans. The defendants include opioid manufacturers Purdue Pharma LP, J&J, Teva, Endo International Plc and drug distributors AmerisourceBergen Corp, Cardinal Health Inc and McKesson Corp.
"As a matter of common sense, drugs that can kill patients or commit them to a life of addiction or recovery do not 'improve their function and quality of life, '" said Stenehjem, adding the state will continue its investigation and look into the liability of additional companies that share responsibility for this epidemic.
Other investigations remain ongoing, according to the AG's office. The cases have been consolidated before a federal judge in Ohio.