New York State Acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced on Wednesday, May 16, that the state is preparing to sue the maker of the prescription painkiller OxyContin. The lawsuit makes New York the seventh state to announce a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma.
In a statement, Acting Attorney General Underwood said that New York is readying its litigation against the opioid manufacturer for “its alleged deception and reckless disregard for the health and well-being of New Yorkers.”
“It is clear to us that Purdue profited by deliberately exploiting New Yorkers’ addictions, and by pushing healthcare providers to increase patients’ use and dependence on these potentially fatal drugs,” the statement read.
Attorneys general in Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Nevada and North Dakota also announced lawsuits against Purdue Pharma on Tuesday, May 15.
via The Hill:
Over the past year, the number of lawsuits filed against opioid manufacturers and distributors has substantially increased. Many of the suits claim companies aggressively marketed opioids while downplaying the risk of addiction, and shipped suspiciously large quantities of painkillers without alerting authorities.
Manufacturers and distributors have pushed back on the idea that they’re to blame for the opioid crisis. The companies have said they’re working to be part of the solution to stem the tide of the opioid epidemic, which contributes to the deaths of an estimated 115 Americans per day.
Hundreds of lawsuits from cities, counties, tribes and other health industry stakeholders have been consolidated in Cleveland, Ohio, under Judge Dan Polster. Polster has said he hopes to “do something to dramatically reduce the number of opioids that are being disseminated, manufactured and distributed” and also “get some amount of money to the government agencies for treatment.”
Purdue Pharma released a statement in response to the suit, “vigorously” denying the allegations.