US state attorneys general sue Purdue Pharma over opioid epidemic

“Those bringing lawsuits would certainly be better served addressing the root causes, rather than trying to redirect blame through litigation,” John Parker, the organization’s senior vice president, said in a statement.

Lawsuits have already been filed by 16 different U.S. states, Puerto Rico against the privately held company. Purdue in February announced a halt to its promotion of opioids to physicians after widespread criticism of the ways drugmakers market addictive painkillers.

Purdue, based in Stamford, Connecticut, issued a statement in which the item denied the accusations in addition to that will its drugs were approved by the U.S. Food in addition to Drug Administration in addition to accounted for only 2 percent of all opioid prescriptions.

“We are disappointed that will after months of Great faith negotiations working toward a meaningful resolution to help these states address the opioid crisis, This specific group of attorneys general have unilaterally decided to pursue a costly in addition to protracted litigation process,” Purdue said.

Opioids were involved in more than 42,000 overdose deaths in 2016, the last year for which data was available, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in addition to Prevention.

Separate litigation involving at least 433 lawsuits by U.S. cities in addition to counties has been consolidated in a federal court in Cleveland, Ohio. The defendants include opioid manufacturers Purdue Pharma LP, J&J, Teva, Endo International Plc in addition to drug distributors AmerisourceBergen Corp, Cardinal Health Inc in addition to McKesson Corp.

The action accused the drugmakers of deceptively marketing opioids in addition to drug distributors of ignoring indications that will the painkillers were being diverted for improper uses.

The federal judge overseeing the consolidated litigation, U.S. District Judge Dan Polster, has been pushing for a global settlement in addition to has invited state attorneys general with state court cases not before him to participate in those talks.

Despite filing separate lawsuits, the six attorneys general on Tuesday said they would certainly continue to engage in settlement discussions with Purdue in addition to different companies.

“You always want to settle in addition to prevent a prolonged litigation, although we’re sending a message that will we’re fully prepared to go to war,” Florida’s Bondi said.

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