State of Alabama Suing Opioid Pain Medication Company

Attorney General Steve Marshall has announced that the State of Alabama has filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, Purdue Frederick Company and Rhodes Pharmaceuticals, the makers and sellers of prescription opioid pain medications, including the brand name drugs OxyContin, MS Contin, Dilaudid/Dilaudid HP, Butrans, Hysingla ER, and Targiniq ER, as well as generic opioids.

According to a statement from Marshall’s office, the lawsuit says Purdue violated Alabama’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act in the marketing and sale of opioid drugs and jeopardized the public health, welfare and safety of Alabama residents.

The state is seeking both monetary damages and injunctive relief.

“The opioid epidemic has devastated Alabama families, leaving a trail of addiction and death winding though every community of this state,” said Marshall in the statement. “Alabama ranks first in the nation for the number of painkiller prescriptions per capita.  As a result, it is estimated that almost 30,000 of our residents over age 17 are dependent upon heroin and prescription painkillers. Alabama’s drug overdose death rate skyrocketed by 82 percent from 2006 to 2014 and it is believed that many of those deaths were from opioid painkillers and heroin,” he said.

Marshall says he thinks the lawsuit will be transferred to Cleveland, Ohio, as part of national litigation.

Last year, Gov. Kay Ivey named Marshall co-chair of the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council.

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