The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s workplace is suing Purdue Pharma, saying the drugmaker “created” the lethal opioid disaster via “a relentless campaign of deception.” It’s the most recent of at least 39 lawsuits filed by states in opposition to the maker of OxyContin.
Purdue sales associates made 531,000 visits to Pennsylvania doctors and pharmacies since 2007, the lawsuit states. There, sales associates downplayed the dangers of prescribing OxyContin and other strong opiates, whereas pushing concepts akin to “pseudo-addiction” that does not have any foundation in science.
“They peddled this idea to doctors, claiming that these indicators have been merely symptoms of under-treated ache and that sufferers had been not being given sufficient opioids,” state Attorney Common Josh Shapiro stated in a press conference.
The Stamford, Connecticut-based firm gave gifts and cash to doctors and didn’t take legal actions in opposition to doctors who had been prescribing huge portions of drugs, even after some sales associates voiced concern, the lawsuit states.
In some circumstances, sales associates found out lists of sufferers likely to be prescribed opioids and sought guarantees from doctors to prescribe OxyContin.
“Generally, the doctor was already assured to prescribe sufferers Purdue medication before they walked into the clinic,” Shapiro stated.
Pennsylvania is also one of many states hardest-hit by opioid addiction, with over 26,300 overdose deaths since 1997.
The lawsuit asks that the defendants forfeit all earnings tied to OxyContin prescription in Pennsylvania, pay for the trial and pay civil penalties from $1,000 to $3,000 for violation of consumer safety regulation.
Shapiro stated these funds will compensate state, county, and municipal businesses, and can fund addiction remedy and prevention efforts.
“The lawsuit is a part of a continuing effort to bring these cases within the court of public opinion,” Purdue spokesman Robert Josephson stated.