Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, along with a bipartisan group of attorneys general, sued Purdue Pharma today for its unlawful marketing and promotion of OxyContin and other drugs and its role in causing and prolonging the opioid epidemic in Tennessee, according to a news release. Stenehjem also says the company promoted the drugs through a "pervasive and deceptive marketing campaign". The death toll attributed to opioids in the US has quadrupled over the last two decades. The state's lawsuit was filed in Knox County Circuit Court.
"It resulted in large measure from a company's decision to aggressively and deceptively market OxyContin and misrepresent the most serious side effect of opioids-addiction", the suit states. Attorney General Paxton's lawsuit seeks significant penalties from the company for its illegal conduct, and a permanent injunction to prevent future harm to Texans.
- Falsely representing that Purdue's abuse-deterrent formulation of OxyContin reduces the risks of OxyContin, including the risk of addiction.
North Dakota and five other states are accusing a major pharmaceutical company of fueling the opioid crisis.
Opioids are a family of drugs that include prescription painkillers such as OxyContin as well as illegal drugs like heroin.
Other investigations remain ongoing, according to the AG's office.
Stenehjem says Purdue "misrepresented and trivialized" the risk of addiction from prolonged opioid use.
Last October, President Trump officially declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency, noting that two million Americans suffer from addiction to prescription or illicit painkillers.