- Associated Press - Thursday, June 28, 2018

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia has become the latest state to accuse the maker of OxyContin of contributing to the nation’s opioid epidemic by falsely marketing its opioids as safe and having a low risk of addiction.

State Attorney General Mark Herring on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, alleging that the company violated Virginia’s Consumer Protection Act by making false claims about its opioids.

“For decades, Purdue Pharma amassed a fortune and built an empire on suffering and lies,” Herring said during a news conference Wednesday.

Nearly two dozen states have filed similar lawsuits against drug manufacturers.

Purdue Pharma said it’s disappointed that Virginia has sued when it has been working with other states to help address the problem. In a Thursday statement, the company also said it has already ended many of the marketing practices cited in Herring’s lawsuit.



“We share the Attorney General’s concern about the opioid crisis. We are disappointed, however, that in the midst of good faith negotiations with many states, the Commonwealth has decided to pursue a costly and protracted litigation process,” the company said in the statement.

Purdue Pharma said it “will continue to work collaboratively with the states toward bringing meaningful solutions to help address this public health crisis.”

Herring said nearly 8,000 people have died from opioid overdoses in Virginia over the last decade, more than half from prescription opioids.

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