North Dakota Joins Lawsuit Against Drug Maker Purdue Pharma

Texas, 5 other states sue Purdue Pharma, alleging deception that led to opioid overdose deaths

Specifically, the attorneys general of Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas say the pharmaceutical company used deception in marketing opioid drugs to health professionals by over-selling their benefits and neglecting to mention their risks.

"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.

Numerous suits claim companies aggressively marketed opioids while downplaying the risk of addiction, and shipped suspiciously large quantities of painkillers without alerting authorities.

Similar complaints were being filed by officials in Nevada, Florida, Tennessee, Texas and North Dakota.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced a lawsuit against major opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma.

A company spokesman says the filing by these attorneys general promises costly and protracted litigation. Slatery said three Tennesseans die each day from opioid-related overdoses.

Lawsuits filed against Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma and other drugmakers by Tennessee and Florida cast more doubt about the viability of settlement talks aimed at addressing the US opioid epidemic. As the national death toll from opioid addiction rises, Texas is now suing a national drug manufacturer for aiding in the epidemic.

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The state hasn't identified the total amount it is seeking from Purdue Pharma, but it's asking the court to order the company to pay up to $20,000 for each deceptive trade practice violation.

Citing Purdue's marketing materials, he claimed Purdue promoted something called "pseudoaddiction" to distract physicians from their concerns over the addictive nature of opioids.

The suit against Purdue Pharma follows a lengthy investigation by the Tennessee attorney general into several drug companies and distributors.

"Our office has conducted an extensive investigation into Purdue's highly aggressive marketing practices and other unlawful conduct", Slatery said in a news release.

NY and other states announced a nationwide investigation last summer into major opioid manufacturers and distributors.

"You can't accomplish anything in terms of getting companies to admit they are responsible without filing lawsuits", Papantonio said. "It's why we're taking action", Purdue said.

"We vigorously deny these allegations and look forward to the opportunity to present our defense", it added. The first trial there is scheduled for March, although settlement talks continue.

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