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 Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says he believes credible evidence exists to conclude that Purdue Pharma knew the serious risks of long-term opioid use, and minimized or ignored evidence that its product could be deadly.
"My office is holding Purdue Pharma accountable for fueling the nation's opioid epidemic by deceptively marketing prescription painkillers including OxyContin when it knew their drugs were potentially unsafe and that its use had a high likelihood of leading to addiction", Paxton said.More news: Clinics Sue Iowa Over Six-Week Abortion Ban
The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports opioids killed more than 1,300 Texans in 2016, which is less than half the national average.
The Attorney General says filing a lawsuit is an important step in fighting addiction by going after the root of the problem. In the course of the investigation, Stenehjem said he concluded that Purdue Pharma is in large part responsible for fueling the opioid epidemic.
Opioids were involved in more than 42,000 overdose deaths in 2016, the previous year for which data was available, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.More news: Pep Guardiola: Man City boss named LMA manager of the year
Opioids are a family of drugs that include prescription painkillers such as OxyContin as well as illegal drugs like heroin.
Nevada state Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt speaks at a news conference on a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Las Vegas.
Other investigations remain ongoing, according to the AG's office. Stenehjem also says the company promoted the drugs through a "pervasive and deceptive marketing campaign". Texas' Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force reported that "overdose by licit or illicit prescription drugs" is a leading cause of maternal deaths in the state.More news: Robert Mueller had authority to prosecute Paul Manafort: judge