Local News

North Carolina files lawsuit against prescription opioid manufacturer

Posted May 15, 2018 5:51 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 11:13 a.m. EDT

— North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against drug manufacturer Purdue Pharma, alleging it made deceptive and misleading statements in marketing prescription opioids.

According to the lawsuit, Purdue Pharma intentionally released messages to downplay the concerns of patients and prescribers regarding opioids.

The lawsuit says Purdue pushed a message of “pseudo-addiction,” marketing the idea that people engaged in drug-seeking behavior because they were not receiving enough opioids, and attempted to discredit non-opioid pain relievers by saying medications like aspirin or acetaminophen are riskier for chronic pain.

The company also repeatedly claimed its opioid products did not have maximum dosage limits, even after doctors raised concerns, saying limits are dependent on side-effects experienced by the patient, the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit also claimed that Purdue targeted vulnerable populations, including veterans and senior citizens.

“As detailed in the complaint I filed today, Purdue Pharma repeatedly deceived prescribers and patients in its pursuit of profits, and far too many North Carolinians lost their loved ones as a results,” Stein said in a statement. “Purdue crossed the line, and I intend to hold them accountable.”

Five other states, including Florida, Tennessee, Texas and North Dakota, on Tuesday filed their own lawsuits in state court against Purdue.