ND, 5 other states suing opioid maker

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

Texas and five other states are filing new lawsuits accusing a pharmaceutical company of using deceptive marketing to boost drugs sales that fueled opioid overdose deaths.

Stenehjem says Purdue "misrepresented and trivialized" the risk of addiction from prolonged opioid use.

"My office is holding Purdue Pharma accountable for fueling the nation's opioid epidemic by deceptively marketing prescription painkillers including OxyContin when it knew their drugs were potentially unsafe and that its use had a high likelihood of leading to addiction", Paxton said.

Stenehjem estimates Purdue has raked in almost 35 billion dollars from opioids over the years that have taken thousands of lives, numbers he calls unconscionable.

"Today, I filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma".

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

"It's time the defendants pay for the pain and the destruction they've caused", Florida State Attorney General Pam Bondi said Tuesday. It noted its drugs are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and account for only 2 percent of all opioid prescriptions.

Opioids were involved in more than 42,000 overdose deaths in 2016, the past year for which data was available, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Our office has conducted an extensive investigation into Purdue's highly aggressive market-ing practices and other unlawful conduct", said Slatery in the release. Other investigations remain ongoing. In Texas, non-fatal opioid costs to the state are around $20 billion annually, according to research from the American Enterprise Institute.

"Longview is actually in the top twenty-five for opioid abuse, and we're number seventeen", Coalition Coordinator for Longview Partners in Prevention Whitney Pierce said.

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