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Texas Sues the manufacturer of OxyContin on the opioid epidemic



Attorney General Ken Paxton brings Texas into a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma to exacerbate the opioid crisis among the Texans.

In a Tuesday afternoon announcement, Paxton, a Republican, flanked by several deputy attorney-general, said the state is taking the drug maker to court for misrepresenting the risks of opioid dependence.

"We need to make those who caused the opioid crisis feel the pain they have inflicted on our community," said Paxton.

Other states, including Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, North Dakota and Nevada, are also suing Purdue.

While the state is planning to sue, Paxton said that the main issue now is the courts' failure to stop Purdue from misrepresenting her drugs.

The lawsuit comes as more states, cities, and counties in the United States turn to the courts to address how to hold drug manufacturers and distributors to account under a staggering-and-growing-epidemic leading to more than 42,000 opioid overdoses in 201

6. Major culprits in the public health crisis include prescription painkillers such as hydrocodone, oxycontin and the synthetic active ingredient fentanyl and heroin.

Texas was not in the national spotlight over the opioid crisis such as Kentucky, Maine, Ohio and West Virginia, but 1,375 Texans died in 2016 from opioids. In addition, public health advocates have expressed concern that the situation in Texas will worsen because of the lack of access to substance abuse treatment, especially in rural counties. Four of the top cities for opioid abuse are in Texas: Texarkana, Odessa, Longview and Amarillo.

Paxton's office wrote in a May 10 letter to the Texas Supreme Court that it was planning to file a lawsuit under the state's "Deceptive Trade Practices Act." The Consumer Protection Act prohibits companies from falsifying themselves or their products against Texans. Examples of misrepresentation include false or misleading advertising, exaggeration or misrepresentation of the benefits or endorsements of a product or service, misstatements about the manufacture or origin of a product, the distribution of used products as new products, and price erosion.

Paxton said he led Texas to sue Purdue, among other things, for maligning doctors and patients about the possibility of unaided opioid dosing and falsely claiming that frequent signs of addiction are signs that the patient needs higher opioid doses and misrepresenting the risk of becoming dependent on the abusive deterrence of OxyContin.

After holding the company accountable, Paxton personally went to the press conference when he talked about hearing stories of families losing "sons and daughters."

"There's nothing like talking to a mother who lost her son through an overdose," Paxton said.

He said the state is still dealing with other drug companies and distributors. When asked if there will be more companies in court, Paxton said he would "not be surprised," but "would not say yes or no, because we do not know who that would be. "

In September, Paxton announced that it was joining a 41-country corporate investigation. The states served investigative summons or other inquiries to eight drug manufacturers and distributors, including Endo Pharmaceuticals, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Purdue Pharma, Allergan and their affiliates, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson. Www.mjfriendship.de/de/index.php?op…27&Itemid=47 Also, the county and city councils across Texas have filed law firms and lawsuits against drug companies companies have taken advantage of the medication for the treatment chronic pain overplayed and the search risk downplayed. These lawsuits are also vying with drug companies and distributors to reimburse the costs of opioid problems, including treatment, loss of productivity, emergencies and more, to counties and cities.

Justin Nelson, a Democrat who challenges Paxton's re-election in November, said in an e-mail statement that the announcement "is too little for so many Texas families suffering from the opioid crisis" and that "Paxton was sitting Unexpectedly, while drug companies have conjured up prices without consequences. "

" It's window dressing to thwart Ken Paxton's failure to fight pill pills over the past three and a half years and divert attention from Paxton's own indictment, "Nelson said in other jurisdictions, they were much stronger than these. "

The potential payoff in these lawsuits is immense for states, districts, and cities, a settlement could cost billions, and legal experts said the wave of opioid lawsuits was similar to the settlement states of the tobacco companies that were obtained in the 1990s, when Texas made up a $ 15 billion settlement.

Paxton has not said how much money the state is pursuing, but according to a press release, his office wants to receive "substantial fines" from Purdue.

Nationally, isolated cases were picked up across the country in a multi-district case under a federal judge in Ohio. The first process, which will consolidate three cases in Ohio, is expected to start in March 2019 and is considered a test of how other processes could break out.

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From the Texas Tribune

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