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21 May 2019

Joanna Walters, Guardian (UK)

USA: Painkiller maker Purdue Pharma sued by 5 additional states over alleged misconduct in opioids marketing & sales

"Five more US states sue Purdue Pharma over its role in opioid crisis"

Five more US states sued the painkiller maker Purdue Pharma on Thursday, alleging misconduct in the marketing and sales of opioids such as the company’s highly profitable OxyContin narcotic.

Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland and West Virginia filed separate but similar lawsuits, bringing the number of states suing the pharmaceutical company to 45, over its alleged role in the US opioids crisis that has caused thousands of drug overdose deaths. Pennsylvania sued the company two days ago, while New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art on Wednesday joined a host of cultural and academic institutions in announcing it would stop accepting philanthropy from the Sackler family members behind Purdue Pharma...

The five states that filed on Thursday are also suing Richard Sackler, who was previously Purdue’s co-chairman and president and is one of the leading members of the Sackler family who wholly own the private company...

Sackler has been sued in several other such lawsuits in recent months and Purdue is also being sued by more than 1,500 cities and counties from all across the US.

West Virginia’s lawsuit alleges Purdue Pharma aggressively pushed false claims and deceptive practices, even in the past training new marketing employees with the advertising motto: “We sell hope in a bottle.”

“This lawsuit reveals many years of painstaking investigation,” West Virginia’s attorney general, Patrick Morrisey, said. “The senseless death and ruined lives of untold thousands must stop.”...

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USA: Rise in opioids deaths leads state officials to file claims against drug firms and distributors

USA: Rise in opioids deaths leads state officials to file claims against drug firms and distributors