Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

ND, 5 other states suing opioid maker

Purdue Pharma Purdue Pharma
Gustavo Carr | 16 May, 2018, 09:37

Nevada and five other states are filing new lawsuits alleging that a pharmaceutical company used deceptive marketing to boost drugs sales that fueled opioid overdose deaths. The suit also claims Purdue violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and its 2007 settlement with Tennessee.

State Attorney General Herbert Slatery announced the suit, filed in Knox County, on Tuesday.

Similar lawsuits were filed in Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

"Our Office has conducted an extensive investigation into Purdue's highly aggressive marketing practices and other unlawful conduct", Slattery said. "Purdue must be held accountable for its actions and its role in Nevada's opioid epidemic".

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

Starting past year, Attorney General 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.

Josephson added that Purdue announced in February it ended promotion of opioids to doctors and restructured and significantly reduced its commercial operation.

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Other investigations remain ongoing, according to the AG's office. The states served investigative subpoenas or other requests to eight drugmakers and distributors, including Endo Pharmaceuticals, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Purdue Pharma, Allergan and their related entities, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson. The first trial consolidating three OH cases is set to begin in March 2019 and is considered to be a test of how other lawsuits may shake out.

U.S. District Judge Dan Polster, who is overseeing the consolidated litigation, has been pushing for a global settlement.

Bondi said state attorneys general from New York, California and MA were preparing similar lawsuits.

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

"We lack the resources that we need to treat this problem", said Stenehjem. "I think their lawsuit complements ours; it's not in competition".

Separate litigation involving at least 433 lawsuits by USA cities and counties has been consolidated in a federal court in Cleveland, Ohio.