US state attorneys general sue Purdue Pharma over opioid epidemic

A pharmacist holds prescription painkiller OxyContin, 40mg pills, made by Purdue Pharma L.D. at a local pharmacy, in Provo, Utah, on April 25, 2017.
A pharmacist holds prescription painkiller OxyContin, 40mg pills, made by Purdue Pharma L.D. at a local pharmacy, in Provo, Utah, on April 25, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Several US state attorneys general on Tuesday (May 15) announced lawsuits against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP, accusing the company of fueling a national opioid epidemic by deceptively marketing prescription painkillers to generate billions of dollars in sales.

The attorneys general of Nevada, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, North Dakota and Tennessee separately said the company had violated state consumer protection laws by falsely denying or downplaying the risk of addiction while overstating the benefits of opioids.