Tennessee, 5 other states suing opioid maker Purdue Pharma


"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 chose to pursue a costly and protracted litigation process", Purdue said.

"My office is holding Purdue Pharma accountable for fueling the nation's opioid epidemic by deceptive marketing of its prescription opioid painkillers", Texas Attorney General ken Paxton said.

Starting past 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.

The lawsuit also alleges that the drug company downplayed concerns about opioid addictions by "hyping" a concept known as "pseudo-addiction".

Connecticut-based Purdue denied the claims in an email statement that said it will defend itself.

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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.

He says the filing by these attorneys general promises costly and protracted litigation. "Purdue initiated the expansion of the opioid market that created the opioid crisis", Stenehjem said. The defendants include opioid manufacturers Purdue Pharma LP, J&J, Teva, Endo International Plc and drug distributors AmerisourceBergen Corp, Cardinal Health Inc and McKesson Corp. He says proceeds from the lawsuit should be devoted to opioid treatment programs. Other investigations remain ongoing.

Similar lawsuits are expected in Nevada, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

National law firm Robins Kaplan filed the lawsuits on behalf of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, as well as the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe and the Menominee Indian Tribe.