Texas Attorney General Taking Steps To Fight Opioid Crisis

Texas Attorney General Taking Steps To Fight Opioid Crisis

Texas Attorney General Taking Steps To Fight Opioid Crisis

Attorneys general in Florida and Texas filed new lawsuits Tuesday against manufacturers and distributors of opioid drugs, alleging they intentionally misled people about the dangers of addiction.

Texas' lawsuit accuses Purdue Pharma, the privately held manufacterer of OxyContin, of violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by aggressively selling its products "when it knew their drugs were potentially risky and that its use had a high likelihood of leading to addiction", state Attorney General Ken Paxton said at a news conference here.

"It resulted in large measure from a company's decision to aggressively and deceptively market OxyContin and misrepresent the most serious side effect of opioids-addiction", the suit states.

Lawsuits have already been filed by 16 other USA states and Puerto Rico against Purdue.

Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue, in a statement, denied the accusations, saying its drugs were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and accounted for only 2 percent of all opioid prescriptions.

Company spokesman Bob Josephson said in an email statement that the lawsuits followed months of negotiations with state officials to address the opioid crisis.

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"We are in the midst of a national opioid crisis claiming 175 lives a day nationally and 15 lives a day in Florida, and I will not tolerate anyone profiting from the pain and suffering of Floridians", Bondi said. Those lawsuits are also vying for drug companies and distributors to reimburse counties and cities for the cost of opioid problems, including treatment, lost productivity, emergency room costs and more.

North Dakota and five other states are accusing a major pharmaceutical company of fueling the opioid crisis.

Bondi said she wanted an out-of-court deal even though she'd joined the ranks of states suing opioid makers. In September, his office subpoenaed Purdue Pharma and four other drug makers, as well as three distributors, gathering information through the state's powers to investigate.

The lawsuit alleges Purdue misrepresented or failed to disclose the risk of addiction to opioids; falsely represented that doctors and patients could increase opioid dosages indefinitely without risk and misled doctors to believe that common signs of addictions in patients are actually signs that the patient needs a higher dose of opioid. In March, Slatery filed motions to intervene, or take over, the lawsuits.

Manufacturers and distributors have pushed back on the idea that they're to blame for the opioid crisis.

Last week, representatives of Russell, Smyth, and Wythe counties in Southwest Virginia announced they will file federal lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, but the names of the manufacturers weren't announced.

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