Attorneys general file suit against Purdue Pharma over opioid epidemic

Tennessee joins states suing Oxy Contin maker

The lawsuit also alleges that the drug company downplayed concerns about opioid addictions by "hyping" a concept known as "pseudo-addiction".

Bob Josephson, a spokesman for the company, said the lawsuits followed months of negotiations with state officials to address the opioid crisis.

Six more US states on Tuesday announced lawsuits against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP, accusing the company of fueling a national opioid epidemic by deceptively marketing its prescription painkillers to generate billions of dollars in sales.

Stenehjem says Purdue "misrepresented and trivialized" the risk of addiction from prolonged opioid use. The lawsuit also accuses Purdue Pharma of targeting seniors and other "vulnerable" populations.

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South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, left, stands next to Rep. Eric Bedingfield, whose son died past year of a drug overdose, on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, at his offices in Columbia, S.C. Wilson on Tuesday announced the state had sued Purdue Pharma, accusing the maker of OxyContin and other opioid drugs of violating South Carolina's Unfair Trade Practices Act. As the national death toll from opioid addiction rises, Texas is now suing a national drug manufacturer for aiding in the epidemic.

In a statement, Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma denied the claims and said the company will defend itself.

Laxalt's lawsuit seeks civil penalties and damages for reimbursement and treatment, and seeks to cease Purdue's unlawful promotion of opioids on behalf of the State as a whole and the municipalities and counties. However, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) noted in its 2016 guidelines that "there is no good evidence that opioids improve pain or function with long-term use".

Similar lawsuits were expected in Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota and Tennessee. The cases have been consolidated before a federal judge in Ohio.

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