North Dakota sues Big Pharma Purdue for possible role in opioid epidemic

North Dakota sues Big Pharma Purdue for possible role in opioid epidemic

"We are disappointed that after months of good faith negotiations working toward a meaningful resolution to help these states address the opioid crisis, this group of attorneys general have unilaterally made a decision to pursue a costly and protracted litigation process", Purdue said.

He says the company promoted the drugs through a "pervasive and deceptive marketing campaign".

Texas joined five other states Tuesday in lawsuits accusing a pharmaceutical company of using deceptive marketing to boost drugs sales that fueled opioid overdose deaths. The state's lawsuit was filed in Knox County Circuit Court. Attorney General Paxton's lawsuit seeks significant penalties from the company for its illegal conduct, and a permanent injunction to prevent future harm to Texans. Each day, 115 Americans die of opioid overdoses.

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

Laxalt says while Nevada has only filed against Purdue, it is continuing to investigate other opioid manufacturers and distributors with the larger opioids multistate group. "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". Other investigations remain ongoing. Of the top 25 cities for opioid abuse, four are in Texas - Texarkana, Amarillo, Odessa and Longview.

The lawsuit, filed by the Office of the Nevada Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection, alleges Purdue violated the Nevada Deceptive Trade Practices Act through deceptive promotional activities and materials that falsely denied or minimized the risks of addiction, trivialized the pain management uses, and overstated the benefits of opioids. Texas' Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force reported that "overdose by licit or illicit prescription drugs" is a leading cause of maternal deaths in the state.