US state attorneys general of Nevada, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, North Dakota and Tennessee also said Purdue Pharma violated state consumer protection laws by falsely denying or downplaying the addiction risk while overstating the benefits of opioids.
Six more US 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.
Starting previous year, Attorney General Paxton and a bipartisan group of 40 other state attorneys general have been conducting an investigation into whether companies that manufacture and distribute prescription opioids engaged in unlawful practices. A company spokesman added that the state lawsuits will bring costly and protracted litigation.
The Texas lawsuit accuses Purdue Pharma of using a marketing campaign to convince doctors and consumers that their opioid drugs are effective for treating long term pain and have a low risk of addiction. In the course of the investigation, Stenehjem said he concluded that Purdue Pharma is in large part responsible for fueling the opioid epidemic.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said in a release that the company "repeatedly deceived prescribers and patients in pursuit of profits". 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.
Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue in a statement said it denied the allegations.
The multistate group plans to continue settlement negotiations with other companies.
In March, Slatery filed motions to intervene, or take over, three lawsuits filed against major opioid manufacturers by 14 district attorneys general across Tennessee. The cases have been consolidated before a federal judge in Ohio.