Texas AG Sues OxyContin Manufacturer Over Opioid Crisis

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem announces lawsuit against opioid manufacturer in Fargo

NY joins six other states in suing Purdue - Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas - for its manufacture of the drug OxyContin.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, a manufacturer of prescription opioids, the suit claims the company played a large part in the national opioid epidemic.

Prescription painkillers are primarily to blame for the health crisis with Oxycontin, Hydrocodone and fentanyl being the main prescription drugs that lead to addiction and potential overdosing.

Similar lawsuits are being filed in Nevada, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Texas.

"We are disappointed that after months of good faith negotiations working toward a meaningful resolution to address the opioid crisis, this group of attorneys general have unilaterally made a decision to pursue a costly and protracted litigation process", said Purdue spokesman Robert Josephson. He says proceeds from the lawsuit should be devoted to opioid treatment programs.

"Purdue told prescribers that these non-addictive drugs are actually riskier than opioids for chronic pain", he said.

Purdue also faces three other lawsuits in Tennessee from 14 district attorneys general, including Sullivan County District Attorney General Barry Staubus.

North Dakota and five other states are accusing a major pharmaceutical company of fueling the opioid crisis.

- Falsely representing that Purdue's abuse-deterrent formulation of OxyContin reduces the risks of OxyContin, including the risk of addiction.

The Healthcare Distribution Alliance, an umbrella group for drug distributors, said in a statement that accusations that distributors were responsible for the abuse of opioid prescriptions defied common sense and lacked understanding of how the pharmaceutical supply chain worked. The states served investigative subpoenas or other requests to eight drugmakers and distributors, including Endo Pharmaceuticals, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Purdue Pharma, Allergan and their related entities, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson.

He also praised Bondi's selection of Clif Curry of the Curry Law Group and Rich Newsome of Newsome Melton to join Florida's team fighting opioid distributors and manufacturers.

Last week, representatives of Russell, Smyth, and Wythe counties in Southwest Virginia announced they will file federal lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, but the names of the manufacturers weren't announced.

"It looks like we're watching other states and then jumping on board", said state Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan. The first trial there is scheduled for March, although settlement talks continue.

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