PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pennsylvania’s state attorney general filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing the company that makes OxyContin of fueling the opioid epidemic, making it at least the 39th state to make such a claim against Purdue Pharma.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the lawsuit against Connecticut-based Purdue. Pennsylvania is one of the states hardest hit by addiction to opioids, a class of drugs that includes powerful prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, along with heroin and fentanyl.
Shapiro’s office two years ago joined with dozens of other states to investigate companies that make and distribute opioid painkillers. Like other states that have sued, Pennsylvania’s claims are rooted in company documents handed over in that investigation.
Elsewhere, Purdue lawyers have asserted that states are cherry-picking portions of them to make the company look worse, usually noting that the company accounts for a small portion of opioids prescribed in the U.S. and that heroin and especially illicit fentanyl, not prescription drugs, are what drove up fatal overdose rates in recent years.
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