South Carolina’s chief prosecutor filed a lawsuit Tuesday against a major legal opioid drug manufacturer.
Attorney General Alan Wilson said in a press conference the state is suing Purdue Pharma in response to a worsening opioid addicyion the epidemic.
“It alleges that Purdue falsely trivialized, mischaracterized and failed to disclose the known serious risks of addiction of opioids,” Wilson said.
Wilson said that the company used deceptive practices to market its OxyContin product. “Purdue overstated the benefits of chronic opioid therapy,” he said.
“Purdue falsely described addiction as a pseudo addiction and dangerously encouraged doctors to respond by prescribing more opioids,” Wilson said.
The lawsuit claims Purdue continued its practices despite a previous 2007 agreement with South Carolina and several other states.
In a statement to the Associated Press, Purdue said it vigorously denies the allegations and shares South Carolina’s concerns about the opioid crisis. The company said it is committed to working with the state to find solutions.
“OxyContin accounts for less than 2% of the opioid analgesic prescription market nationally, but we are an industry leader in the development of abuse-deterrent technology, advocating for the use of prescription drug monitoring programs and supporting access to Naloxone, all important components for combating the opioid crisis,” the Connecticut-based company said in the statement.