Tennessee joins states suing OxyContin maker

Purdue Pharma

Nevada and five other states are filing new lawsuits alleging that a pharmaceutical company used deceptive marketing to boost drugs sales that fueled opioid overdose deaths.

In a press release, the attorney general's office said the sales of Purdue Pharma opioids are worth billions of dollars every year nationwide.

Six more USA 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.

Nevada state Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt alleges in a civil complaint filed Tuesday, May 15, 2018, that Purdue Pharma minimized risks and overstated benefits of long-term use of narcotic opioids including OxyContin. "Three Tennesseans are dying each day from opioid-related overdoses, and we are committed to the hard work that needs to be done to address this tragedy". "Purdue targeted vulnerable patient populations, such as the elderly and veterans, while refusing to recognize the increased risk associated with opioid use in these patient populations".

"Our Office has conducted an extensive investigation into Purdue's highly aggressive marketing practices and other unlawful conduct", Slattery said.

Connecticut-based Purdue denied the claims in an email statement that said it will defend itself.

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.

The multistate group plans to continue settlement negotiations with other companies.

Earlier this month, four out of five North Dakota tribal nations have filed lawsuits against 24 opioid manufacturers and distributors that allege devastating public health effects from the opioid epidemic and seek monetary damages. The cases have been consolidated before a federal judge in Ohio.

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