Florida joins 5 other states suing opioid makers, distributors. Photo via WKMG

Florida joins 5 other states suing opioid makers, distributors

Florida and five other states are filing new lawsuits accusing a pharmaceutical company of using deceptive marketing to boost drugs sales that fueled opioid overdose deaths.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi joined in a civil complaint filed Tuesday that alleges Purdue Pharma minimized risks and overstated benefits of long-term use of narcotic opioids including OxyContin.

The lawsuit also names opioid manufacturers Endo Pharmaceuticals, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Cephalon and Allergan, as well as opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation, Cardinal Health, Inc., McKesson Corporation and Mallinckrodt.

“We are in the midst of a national opioid crisis claiming 175 lives a day nationally and 15 lives a day in Florida, and I will not tolerate anyone profiting from the pain and suffering of Floridians,” Bondi said. “The complaint I filed today, seeks to hold some of the nation’s largest opioid manufacturers and distributors responsible for their role in this crisis and seeks payment for the pain and destruction their actions have caused Florida and its citizens.”

Bondi alleges that the opioid manufactures misrepresented the use of opioids to doctors and consumers. The lawsuit says distributors shipped “inordinately high volumes of opioids” to customers in Florida and did not report the “suspicious orders.”

Laxalt spokeswoman Monica Moazez says similar lawsuits were expected in Florida, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.

Connecticut-based Purdue denied the claims in an email statement that said it will defend itself.

Company spokesman Bob Josephson says the civil lawsuits followed months of negotiations with state officials to address the opioid crisis.

He says the filing by these attorneys general promises costly and protracted litigation.

This report was originally published on WKMG. 

Author: Associated Press, Emilee Speck / WKMG
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