North Dakota Joins Lawsuit Against Drug Maker Purdue Pharma

Purdue Pharma

This story was updated May 15, 2018, at 10:19 p.m. with more information.

Nevada and five other states filed lawsuits accusing the pharmaceutical company of using deceptive marketing to boost drugs sales that fueled opioid overdose deaths. The attorneys general of five other states took similar legal action today against the Stamford, Connecticut-based pharmaceutical giant. "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".

In the complaint with Nevada, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, North Dakota alleges that Purdue misrepresented and trivialized the risk of addiction from prolonged use of opioids and reassured prescribers that signs of addiction were due to so-called "pseudoaddiction" and would cease once the patient's pain was controlled.

The 270-page complaint outlines the state's argument, which accuses the company of causing the "most devastating public health crisis in Tennessee history" by making unlawful and misleading claims about the safety and benefits of drugs like OxyContin. Purdue in February announced a halt to its promotion of opioids to physicians after widespread criticism of the ways drugmakers market addictive painkillers. Nationwide, there were 42,249 opioid overdoses in 2016, including 1,375 opioid-related deaths in Texas.


The Attorney General says filing a lawsuit is an important step in fighting addiction by going after the root of the problem.

Separate litigation involving at least 433 lawsuits by USA cities and counties has been consolidated in a federal court in Cleveland, Ohio.

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.

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