Attorney General Morrisey Sues Opioid Maker Purdue Pharma

Updated 1 year ago Edited from a Press Release
CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, together with four other states, filed suit Thursday against Purdue Pharma and former chief executive Richard Sackler alleging their unlawful marketing of opioids helped fuel the substance abuse epidemic, which has caused historic levels of addiction and widespread death.

West Virginia’s lawsuit alleges Purdue Pharma aggressively pushed false claims and deceptive practices, even having trained new marketing employees with the advertising motto, “We sell hope in a bottle.”
“This lawsuit reveals many years of painstaking investigation,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “The senseless death and ruined lives of untold thousands must stop. Our complaint alleges that the company used false and misleading information to deceive medical personnel and patients. They must be held accountable.”
West Virginia simultaneously filed its lawsuit with Iowa, Kansas, Maryland and Wisconsin. The bipartisan coalition individually seeks specified and unspecified damages against Purdue Pharma Inc., Purdue Pharma LP and Sackler, a medical doctor who formerly served as president and member of the company’s board of directors.
West Virginia will also continue its investigation to determine whether additional defendants will be added to this suit.
West Virginia’s lawsuit alleges Purdue Pharma and the other defendants created a false narrative to convince prescribers that opioids are not addictive and that its opioid products were safer than they actually were.
The lawsuit contends Purdue Pharma proliferated a deceptive marketing strategy with reckless disregard for compliance enforcement. The complaint further alleges that sales representatives were trained to make prohibited claims. For example, the corporation touted its opioid as less likely to be abused, even though federal regulators found that the tamper-resistant properties had no effect on the most common mode of abuse – swallowing the pill.
The lawsuit also alleges Purdue Pharma sales representatives routinely claimed that OxyContin had no dose ceiling, despite assertions by federal regulators that OxyContin’s dose ceiling was evident by adverse reactions.
Thursday’s lawsuit marks West Virginia’s second against Purdue Pharma. The first, filed in 2001, resulted in a $10 million settlement in 2004, however, that case involved an earlier version of the opioid than the reformulated, so-called tamper-resistant OxyContin that debuted in 2010.
The lawsuit, filed in Boone County Circuit Court, sets forth violations of the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act as well as common law nuisance.
Read the court filing here
Comments powered by Disqus