Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, accused of fueling craving while boosting profits
The state of Massachusetts on Tuesday sued the maker of the prescription painkiller OxyContin, which has been blamed for spawning America’s opioids crisis, naming leading executives and members of the multibillionaire Sackler family that owns the pharmaceutical company.
The suit accuses the company, Purdue Pharma, of spinning a” web of illegal deceits” to fuel the deadly drug abuse crisis while boosting profits.
Purdue Pharma is already defending suits from several states and local governments, but Massachusetts is the first state to take the unusual step of personally naming the company’s executives in a complaint, the state attorney general, Maura Healey, told. It names 16 present and former executives and members of the security council, including the chief executive, Craig Landau, and eight members across three generations of the Sackler family that wholly owns Purdue.
The lawsuit alleges Purdue cheated patients and doctors about health risks of opioids, pushed prescribers to keep patients on the drugs longer and aggressively targeted vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and veterans.
” Their strategy was simple: the more medications they sold, the more money they attained, and the more people succumbed ,” Healey said on Tuesday.
Purdue, based in Stamford, Connecticut, issued a statement saying it vigorously denied all the allegations and looked forward to presenting” substantial defenses” to the claims in the lawsuit.
” We share the attorney general’s expressed concerns about the opioid crisis. We are disappointed, nonetheless, that in the middle of good faith negotiations with many governments, the commonwealth[ of Massachusetts] has decided to pursue a costly and protracted litigation process. We will continue to work collaboratively with the states toward bringing meaningful answers ,” it stated.
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