CBS This Morning reported on January 24th, 2019 that the Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey, is “targeting Purdue Pharma and eight members of the Sackler family who own the company, alleging in a lawsuit they are ‘personally responsible’ for deceptively selling OxyContin, the narcotic which is central to the opiod crisis.” “Family behind OxyContin maker engineered opioid crisis, Massachusetts AG says,” CBS NEWS January 24, 2019
Almost 400,000 people died from opioid overdoses between 1999 and 2017, according to the CDC. Massachusetts is one of 36 states now suing Purdue Pharma, accusing the company of downplaying the dangers of OxyContin. In a 2007 federal settlement, the company admitted to falsely selling the drug as “less addictive” than rival products. The company paid $630 million in fines.
Healey alleges that “the Sackler family hired “hundreds of workers to carry out their wishes” – pushing doctors to get “more patients on opioids, at higher doses, for longer, than ever before” all while paying “themselves billions of dollars.”
In a statement, Purdue Pharma said the lawsuit “distorts critical facts” and “cherry-picked from among tens of millions of emails and other business documents.”
To that, Healey said, “If Purdue thinks we’re cherry picking, I invite them to produce all of their documents and let the public judge for itself.”