Purdue Pharma LLC, the maker of OxyContin, has reached a settlement with the Attorney General for Oklahoma over a lawsuit in which the state alleged that Purdue, as well as other opioid manufacturers, contributed to the deadly opioid crisis through deceptive marketing practices. It has not been confirmed whether the other defendants in the lawsuit will settle as well.
The settlement with Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter came just weeks before Purdue, owned by members of the wealthy Sackler family, faced the first trial stemming from about 2,000 lawsuits nationally against opioid manufacturers. The trial was to be televised.
Hunter’s 2017 lawsuit accused Purdue, Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd of deceptive marketing that downplayed the risks of addiction associated with opioid pain drugs while overstating their benefits.
The article notes that more than 1,600 of the 2,000 lawsuits against opioid manufacturers for their role in the opioid crisis are in federal court with the remainder filed in state courts. These lawsuits have been compared to litigation against tobacco companies that resulted in the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) in the 1990s.
In Maryland, a number of jurisdictions including Anne Arundel, Harford, Frederick, Montgomery, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, and Baltimore City, have filed lawsuits against opioid manufacturers in distributors either in federal or state court.
For more information read the full article from Reuters.