Medicine

North Dakota joins lawsuit against maker of OxyContin

North Dakota joins lawsuit against maker of OxyContin

A pharmacist holds prescription painkiller OxyContin, 40mg pills, made by Purdue Pharma L.D.at a local pharmacy, in Provo, Utah.

Slattery III and a bipartisan group of attorneys general have filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharmaceuticals for their alleged unlawful marketing of OxyContin and other drugs that have caused and prolonged the opioid epidemic in the state.

The Texas lawsuit accuses Purdue Pharma of using a marketing campaign to convince doctors and consumers that their opioid drugs are effective for treating long term pain and have a low risk of addiction. We believe Purdue's conduct has been unconscionable, and we intend to hold the company accountable.

"We are disappointed that after months of good faith negotiations working toward a meaningful resolution to help these states address the opioid crisis, this group of attorneys general have unilaterally chose to pursue a costly and protracted litigation process", Purdue said.

Connecticut-based Purdue denied the claims in an email statement that said it will defend itself.

The 61-page complaint also said the pharmaceutical company allegedly trained salespeople to downplay the risk of addiction, funded the research of field experts who led talks with health care professionals on opioid prescribing, told patients that long-term use would help them resume daily activities and distorted data on OxyContin's 12-hour efficacy. Yet, Purdue promoted OxyContin and other narcotics to some of its top prescribers in Tennessee despite these many red flags and targeted our most vulnerable citizens.

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Other investigations remain ongoing, according to the AG's office.

The order was filed under a 10-day temporary steal unless Purdue makes a motion to extend it.

The Attorney General requested that the complaint be filed under a temporary seal because Purdue previously claimed that information produced to the State during its investigation is confidential.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem announced at a press conference Tuesday, May 15, that he had filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state in U.S. District Court against Purdue Pharma, the nation's leading manufacturer of prescription opioids such as OxyContin.

Last week, representatives of Russell, Smyth, and Wythe counties in Southwest Virginia announced they will file federal lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, but the names of the manufacturers weren't announced.