AP NEWS

NY sues opioid maker, says Purdue Pharma misled consumers

August 14, 2018

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma on Tuesday, alleging that the opioid maker misled doctors and patients about the dangers of its drugs.

The state now joins a growing list of states and local governments that have turned to the courts for assistance in their effort to go after drug companies who make the powerful painkillers linked to tens of thousands of fatal overdoses across the country.

“Our investigation found a pattern of deception and reckless disregard for New Yorkers’ health and wellbeing _ as Purdue lined its own pockets by deliberately exploiting our communities and fueling an opioid epidemic that’s destroyed families across the state,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in state court on Long Island. It seeks damages and civil penalties as well an order requiring the company to end any deceptive marketing or sales practices.

Purdue Pharma, based in Stamford, Connecticut, did not immediately respond to email and phone messages seeking comment on the lawsuit. The company is the maker of the prescription opioid OxyContin.

The lawsuit comes amid an ongoing investigation into marketing and sales practices of opioid manufacturers by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, a Democrat.

According to state numbers, there were more than 3,000 opioid deaths in New York in 2016, including nearly 2,400 tied to opioid painkillers.

At least 14 states and many municipalities have filed suits against opioid manufacturers amid the ongoing opioid epidemic.