North Carolina files lawsuit against prescription opioid manufacturer

North Carolina files lawsuit against prescription opioid manufacturer

This story was updated May 15, 2018, at 10:19 p.m. with more information.

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 state's lawsuit was filed in Knox County Circuit Court.

"My office is holding Purdue Pharma accountable for fueling the nation's opioid epidemic by deceptive marketing of its prescription opioid painkillers", Texas Attorney General ken Paxton said. "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".

"Today's opioid crisis is inextricably linked to Purdue's pervasive and deceptive marketing campaign". Purdue in February announced a halt to its promotion of opioids to physicians following widespread criticism of the ways drugmakers market addictive painkillers.

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Connecticut-based Purdue denies the claims. He says proceeds from the lawsuit should be devoted to opioid treatment programs. Nationwide, there were 42,249 opioid overdoses in 2016, including 1,375 opioid-related deaths in Texas. He said the filing by these attorneys general promises costly and protracted litigation.

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

Starting a year ago, 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.

Florida also sued drugmakers Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc, Allergan, units of Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Mallinckrodt, as well as drug distributors AmerisourceBergen Corp, Cardinal Health Inc and McKesson Corp.

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