Sunday, 19 August, 2018

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt sues maker of OxyContin

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem announces lawsuit against opioid manufacturer in Fargo Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem announces lawsuit against opioid manufacturer in Fargo
Melinda Barton | 16 May, 2018, 06:41

Stenehjem also says the company promoted the drugs through a "pervasive and deceptive marketing campaign".

Bob Josephson, a spokesman for the company, said the lawsuits followed months of negotiations with state officials to address the opioid crisis. The attorneys general of five other states took similar legal action today against the Stamford, Connecticut-based pharmaceutical giant.

Texas joined five other states Tuesday in lawsuits accusing a pharmaceutical company of using deceptive marketing to boost drugs sales that fueled opioid overdose deaths.

Opioids are a family of drugs that include prescription painkillers such as OxyContin as well as illegal drugs like heroin.

"We do not have adequate, available, affordable treatment in the state of North Dakota, wherever you look, big city and small, rural and urban", said Stenehjem. "Purdue targeted vulnerable patient populations, such as the elderly and veterans, while refusing to recognize the increased risk associated with opioid use in these patient populations".

Opioids were involved in more than 42,000 overdose deaths in 2016, the previous year for which data was available, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "I believe that credible evidence exists to conclude that Purdue knew the serious risks of long-term opioid use and minimized or ignored evidence that its product could be deadly", Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said of one of the nation's leading manufacturer of prescription opioids, including OxyContin. Other investigations remain ongoing.

The lawsuit says Purdue pushed a message of "pseudo-addiction", marketing the idea that people engaged in drug-seeking behavior because they were not receiving enough opioids, and attempted to discredit non-opioid pain relievers by saying medications like aspirin or acetaminophen are riskier for chronic pain.