Five U.S. states sue Purdue Pharma over marketing, promoting of opioids – Reuters

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(Reuters) – Five U.S. states on Thursday filed lawsuits accusing Purdue Pharma LP of illegally marketing and promoting opioids, escalating the wave of litigation over a nationwide abuse epidemic.

FILE PHOTO: Bottles of prescription painkiller OxyContin, 40mg, 20mg and 15mg capsules, made by Purdue Pharma sit on a counter at a local pharmacy, in Provo, Utah, U.S., April 25, 2017. REUTERS/George Frey/File Characterize

Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, West Virginia and Wisconsin joined 39 states to file lawsuits focusing on Purdue Pharma and its leaders, in conjunction with old president Richard Sackler and his family.

Officials accused Purdue Pharma of many times making mistaken and misleading claims that opioids, in conjunction with OxyContin, had been accurate for a huge collection of patients within the hunt for to lower distress.

“Right here’s a bipartisan effort,” Iowa Licensed educated Classic Tom Miller, a Democrat, acknowledged on a conference call.

The lawsuits had been announced six days after a North Dakota middle of attention on disregarded that pronounce’s lawsuit accusing Purdue Pharma of overstating the advantages and trivializing the addiction dangers of prolonged opioid use. North Dakota is anticipated to attraction.

Purdue Pharma known as the novel lawsuits “misleading assaults,” and acknowledged this can also honest defend itself in opposition to them.

“These complaints are fragment of a continuous effort to grab a peer at these situations within the court docket of public conception in want to the justice gadget,” the Stamford, Connecticut-based mostly fully mostly company acknowledged.

Opioids, in conjunction with prescription painkillers and heroin, played a job in a memoir 47,600 U.S. overdose deaths in 2017, the U.S. Facilities for Illness Abet an eye fixed on and Prevention has acknowledged.

Enlighten and local governments maintain filed a entire bunch of lawsuits accusing drugmakers akin to Purdue Pharma of misleading marketing, and distributors akin to AmerisourceBergen Corp, Cardinal Health Inc and McKesson Corp of ignoring how opioids had been being traditional illegally.

Oklahoma reached a $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers on March 26.

The risk that Purdue Pharma can also at closing learn chapter safety is a reason that Sackler family contributors had been named as defendants in some lawsuits.

On the conference call, Maryland Licensed educated Classic Brian Frosh acknowledged the family has “left a path of addiction and death.”

Within the North Dakota case, Bismarck-based mostly fully mostly Voice James Hill rejected the pronounce’s argument that Purdue Pharma’s habits created a public nuisance.

“Purdue can no longer preserve watch over how doctors prescribe its products and it definitely can no longer preserve watch over how person patients use and reply to its products, despite any warning or instruction Purdue can also honest give,” Hill wrote.

The Sacklers maintain long been prolific cultural benefactors, nonetheless their alleged role within the opioid crisis has led some main museums to distance themselves.

On Wednesday, Original York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, whose Sackler Wing accommodates the favorite Temple of Dendur, acknowledged it will close accepting donations from the Sacklers.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in Original York; editing by Bill Berkrot

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