OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma lied to the state, targeted seniors, and violated a 2007 judgment in Oregon court. Those are just same of the allegations laid out in a lawsuit filed by Oregon Attorney General against the pharmaceutical giant.
The suit charges Purdue deceptively marketed the drug to seniors, minimized the risks, and lied to the Oregon Board of Pharmacy. The state claims Purdue did so to maximize their profits and that, over the past decade, the company engaged in a pattern of racketeering.
Oregon wants a $1 million settlement and Purdue banned from marketing opioids to seniors.
“While we cannot bring back the lives lost to opioid addiction, we can question whether Purdue has lived up to the decade-old promise they made to correct their behavior,” Rosenblum said.
“The answer, unfortunately, is a resounding “no!” Instead, they have continued to market this highly addictive pain pill to Oregon doctors and mislead health care providers and the Oregon Pharmacy Board.”
Many of the allegations in the complaint center around whether the company violated their 2007 agreement with the state.
One charge says that the company lied to the state’s pharmacy board by every year filing paperwork stating they’ve never been the subject of disciplinary action by any state or federal government when they have.
Purdue categorically denies all the allegations, insisting that not only have they done nothing wrong, they share the state’s concerns about addiction.
The state points to statistics showing the rising use of opioids in the state including the fact that in 2013, 3 million opioid prescriptions were written in 2015 – the equivalent of one for every person in the state.
The state also points to a 2015 report from the Oregon Health Authority showing that Oregon ranked second of all states for non-medical use of painkillers.
They also quote from an Oregonian report last year that in 2015, there were close to 700 hospitalizations for opioid-related problems for every 100,000 seniors.