Nevada, Five Other States Suing Opioid Maker Purdue Pharma - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Nevada, Five Other States Suing Opioid Maker Purdue Pharma

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy: AP Courtesy: AP

Nevada and five other states are filing new lawsuits accusing a pharmaceutical company of using deceptive marketing to boost drugs sales that fueled opioid overdose deaths.

Nevada state Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt alleges in a civil complaint filed Tuesday in Las Vegas that Purdue Pharma minimized risks and overstated benefits of long-term use of narcotic opioids including OxyContin.

Laxalt spokeswoman Monica Moazez says similar lawsuits were expected in Florida, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.

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

Company spokesman Bob Josephson says the civil lawsuits followed months of negotiations with state officials to address the opioid crisis.

He says the filing by these attorneys general promises costly and protracted litigation.

Specifically, Nevada's filed complaint alleges that Purdue has: 

•         Minimized the risks and overstated the benefits of the long-term use of opioids;

•         Downplayed the serious risk of addiction by claiming that signs of addiction are merely the result of undertreated pain;

•         Advanced misleading statements on the efficacy of the use of opioids on a person’s quality of life;

•         Denied or failed to disclose the greater risks of opioid use at higher doses;

•         Exaggerated the effectiveness of abuse deterrent opioids to prevent abuse and addiction; 

•         Misleadingly promoted OxyContin as providing a full 12 hours of pain relief which it consistently does not; and

•         Overstated the effectiveness of doctors’ ability to manage patients’ addiction.

“Purdue’s deception lined the pockets of its owners and led to the deaths and hospitalization of thousands of Nevadans,” said Laxalt. “Since the release of OxyContin, Purdue has engaged in an extensive, well-crafted and highly targeted deceptive marketing campaign to spread false and misleading messages to health care professionals and patients in Nevada. Purdue must be held accountable for its actions and its role in Nevada’s opioid epidemic.”

Earlier this year, CBS News reported that Purdue eventually acknowledged that its promotions exaggerated the drug's safety and minimized the risks of addiction. After federal investigations, the company and three executives pleaded guilty in 2007 and agreed to pay more than $600 million for misleading the public about the risks of OxyContin. But the drug continued to rack up blockbuster sales.

It also said that U.S. deaths linked to opioids have quadrupled since 2000 to roughly 42,000 in 2016, or about 115 lives lost per day. Although initially driven by prescription drugs, most opioid deaths now involve illicit drugs, including heroin and fentanyl.

(The Associated Press, CBS News contributed to this report.)

  • NewsMore>>

  • Shipley and Aces Lose Heartbreaker in Fresno

    Shipley and Aces Lose Heartbreaker in Fresno

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 2:15 AM EDT2018-05-23 06:15:32 GMT

    With a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Fresno Grizzlies rallied and Alejandro Garcia drove in a walk-off single to defeat the Aces, 4-3. 

    More >>

    With a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Fresno Grizzlies rallied and Alejandro Garcia drove in a walk-off single to defeat the Aces, 4-3. 

    More >>
  • WCSD To Install New Visitor Management System District-Wide

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 1:58 AM EDT2018-05-23 05:58:46 GMT

    Tuesday the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with installation of a new visitor management system that would require visitors have their driver's license scanned before they enter.

    More >>

    Tuesday the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with installation of a new visitor management system that would require visitors have their driver's license scanned before they enter.

    More >>
  • Washoe County Sheriff Forum: The Candidates

    Washoe County Sheriff Forum: The Candidates

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 1:00 AM EDT2018-05-23 05:00:55 GMT

    Alongside the Reno Gazette Journal, a candidate forum was held tonight for the seven candidates running for Washoe County Sheriff. Below are links to their websites.

    More >>

    Alongside the Reno Gazette Journal, a candidate forum was held tonight for the seven candidates running for Washoe County Sheriff. Below are links to their websites.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Sarkes Tarzian, Inc. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.