New York becomes 27th state to sue opioid manufacturer Purdue

New York becomes 27th state to sue opioid manufacturer Purdue
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New York on Tuesday joined 26 other states in suing opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma LP for its alleged role in the nation's opioid crisis.

The state claims that Purdue deceptively minimized the risks of opioid use in order to boost sales of its painkiller OxyContin, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The suit says that more than 75 percent of New York’s opioid deaths were a result of painkillers and asserts that a statewide investigation found that the company’s marketing scheme contributed to the excessive use and prescription of opioids.

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In a statement earlier this year announcing plans to file the suit, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood (D) said, “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.”

Though New York’s filing only listed Purdue as a defendant, Underwood said, “Our work won’t stop with this lawsuit.”

According to the Journal, Underwood and her team will continue to work with other states as officials investigate opioid manufacturers and distributors across the U.S.

Purdue on Tuesday denied New York's allegations and questioned whether it was in the state’s purview to bring an investigation against the company.

“We believe it is inappropriate for the state to substitute its judgment for the judgment of the regulatory, scientific and medical experts at FDA,” Purdue said in a statement.

“We will continue to work collaboratively with the state toward bringing meaningful solutions to address this public health challenge.”

More than 1,000 lawsuits have been filed against Purdue and other pharmaceutical companies by various cities, counties and Native American tribes, the Journal noted.