Lawsuit accuses drug manufacturer of worsening opioid crisis

South Carolina on Monday turned the newest state to accuse a drug producer of exacerbating its opioid drug disaster through the use of misleading advertising.

Lawyer Basic Alan Wilson sued Purdue Pharma on Monday, accusing the maker of OxyContin and different opioid medicine of violating South Carolina’s Unfair Commerce Practices Act.

“Whereas we vigorously deny the allegations, we share South Carolina officers’ considerations concerning the opioid disaster and we’re dedicated to working collaboratively to seek out options,” Purdue Pharma responded in a press release.

The go well with, filed in Richland County, accuses Purdue of failing to adjust to a 2007 settlement it signed with South Carolina and dozens of different states over allegations of its promotion of OxyContin. Purdue admitted no fault in that case, which accused the corporate of encouraging docs to prescribe OxyContin for unapproved makes use of and failing to reveal its potential for habit.

That consent settlement required Purdue to right its allegedly abusive and extreme advertising practices, keep a program to determine prescribers who over-prescribe OxyContin and practice gross sales representatives within the abuse and diversion detection program earlier than they will promote the drug.

Since that point, Wilson stated the corporate has continued to mislead docs concerning the dangers of habit, by saying that sufferers who appeared addicted truly wanted extra opioids, and that opioid medicine could possibly be taken in even greater doses with out disclosing the higher dangers to sufferers.

Wilson stated South Carolina had the ninth highest price of opioid prescriptions within the nation final yr. Since 2011, prosecutors stated, greater than three,000 South Carolinians have died from prescription opioid overdoses.

“OxyContin accounts for lower than 2% of the opioid analgesic prescription market nationally, however we’re an business chief within the improvement of abuse-deterrent know-how, advocating for using prescription drug monitoring packages and supporting entry to Naloxone — all essential elements for combating the opioid disaster,” the corporate assertion stated.

However the lawsuit accuses Purdue of falsely claiming that its newer, abuse-deterrent opioids are safer than different opioid medicine.

South Carolina has already gained hundreds of thousands from one other drug firm over unfair commerce practices allegations. In 2011, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary was ordered to pay the state $327 million for downplaying to docs the hyperlinks between diabetes and Risperdal. The award, later reduce to $124 million, represented a $300 penalty per pattern field of the drug that was distributed, plus $four,000 for every letter the corporate wrote to docs.

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