Alabama AG On Why The State Is Suing OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall [official website] on Tuesday sued [complaint PDF] Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyCotin, alleging its practices have fueled the opioid epidemic.

Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue in a statement said it denied the allegations. He's also served on an opioid council created by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey that released a list of recommendations late past year. "Purdue further knew, and has known for years, that with prolonged use, the effectiveness of opioids wanes, requiring increases in doses and markedly enhancing the risk of significant side effects and addiction", the lawsuit read.

Marshall said he now expects his lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Alabama, will be transferred to OH to be overseen by Polster.

Marshall was among the attorneys general who last Wednesday attended the first court-ordered settlement conference overseen U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland.

At least 30,000 Alabama residents over age 17 are dependent on heroin or prescription painkillers, according to a statement issued by the attorney general's office. That equates to a rate of 1.2 prescriptions per person, the highest rate in the country. Beasley Allen was one of only 12 firms in the nation named by Law360 to its Most Feared Plaintiffs Firms list in 2015, and the firm was included on the National Law Journal Midsize Law Firm Hot List and the NLJ Elite Trial Lawyers List in 2014. As a result, it is estimated that nearly 30,000 of our residents over age 17 are dependent upon heroin and prescription painkillers.

"The opioid epidemic has devastated Alabama families, leaving a trail of addiction and death winding though every community of this state", Marshall said in the news release. The announcement states Alabama seeks monetary damages as well as injunctive relief.

The group of mental health professionals, law enforcement and others was appointed by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey in August 2017 to devise solutions to the opioid crisis in the state.

"As a company grounded in science, we must balance patient access to FDA-approved medicines, while working collaboratively to solve this public health challenge", Purdue said.

He said the company has distributed the guideline for prescribing opioids for chronic pain of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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