Tennessee joins states suing OxyContin maker

USA state attorneys general of Nevada, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, North Dakota and Tennessee claim Purdue Pharma violated state consumer protection laws by falsely denying or downplaying the addiction risk while overstating the benefits of opioids.

Texas and five other states are filing new lawsuits accusing a pharmaceutical company of using deceptive marketing to boost drugs sales that fueled opioid overdose deaths.

Laxalt spokeswoman Monica Moazez says similar lawsuits were expected in Florida, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas. We believe Purdue's conduct has been unconscionable, and we intend to hold the company accountable. Slatery said three Tennesseans die each day from opioid-related overdoses.

Purdue Pharma introduced OxyContin in 1996, claiming that opioids were a safe and effective medical solution to long term chronic pain, Stenehjem said. Based on their findings, Stenehjem concluded that Purdue Pharma is largely responsible for fueling the opioid epidemic.

The action accused the drugmakers of deceptively marketing opioids and drug distributors of ignoring indications that the painkillers were being diverted for improper uses.

The state alleges that Purdue disguised its role in the deceptive marketing of opioids by working through third party front groups (such as pain advocacy groups it created and funded) and Key Opinion Leaders (selected doctors it paid to tout the safety of those pain medications).

" Violating the 2007 judgment by not taking steps to stop sales promotion to prescribers whose practices showed "unambiguous, credible signs of abuse or diversion". Other investigations remain ongoing. The lawsuit also accuses Purdue Pharma of targeting seniors and other "vulnerable" populations. He later withdrew the motions, allowing the district attorneys to continue handling the cases.

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.

Staubus said Tuesday that he's pleased Slatery filed the lawsuit.

"We lack the resources that we need to treat this problem", said Stenehjem. "They're really on a parallel course".

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.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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