North Carolina AG Joins Other States In Suing Opioid Manufacturer

May 15, 2018

Credit JOSH STEIN

North Carolina is among six states filing lawsuits today against drug manufacturer Purdue Pharma, accusing the company of using deceptive marketing that helped fuel the opioid crisis.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said in a release that the company “repeatedly deceived prescribers and patients in pursuit of profits.” The lawsuit also accuses Purdue Pharma of targeting seniors and other “vulnerable” populations.

The lawsuit also alleges that the drug company downplayed concerns about opioid addictions by “hyping” a concept known as “pseudo-addiction." Stein defined the idea as "desperate, drug-seeking behavior" that people engage in not because they are addicted, but because they are actually not receiving enough opioids.

Similar complaints were being filed by officials in Nevada, Florida, Tennessee, Texas and North Dakota.

In a statement, Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma denied the claims and said the company will defend itself. A company spokesman added that the state lawsuits will bring costly and protracted litigation.

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