Massachusetts first state to name Purdue Pharma execs, owner in opioid crisis lawsuit

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey brought a lawsuit June 11 against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma as well as its executives and directors, accusing the company of illegally promoting opioid use. The suit makes Massachusetts the first state to sue the drugmaker's executives to hold them accountable, Reuters reports.

The lawsuit claims Purdue misrepresented the risks of addiction and death linked to prolonged use of its prescription opioids, deceiving physicians and patients.

Although this suit is one of a growing list of similar state civil actions filed against the drugmaker, it also names 16 current or former Purdue executives and board members as defendants, including members of the Sackler family, which owns the company.

Ms. Healey's lawsuit seeks damages and penalties for the overdose deaths of more than 670 Massachusetts residents going back to 2009. These residents had prescriptions for Purdue's opioids.

Purdue denies the lawsuit's allegations, arguing Massachusetts wants to put its views in place of the FDA's judgment, which has approved its products for use.

More articles on opioids: 
Lawmakers fear FDA isn't doing enough to fight opioid crisis
Stigma about opioid use could hinder US epidemic battle, study finds
CMS issues guide on leveraging Medicaid to combat opioid addiction

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