Texas, 5 other states suing opioid maker Purdue Pharma

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Stenehjem says Purdue "misrepresented and trivialized" the risk of addiction from prolonged opioid use.

Gerard Stranch, the lead attorney representing the district attorneys, said Tuesday he thinks the state lawsuit will have a positive effect on the suits because it will "increase the pressure" on Purdue.

The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit.

The Healthcare Distribution Alliance, an umbrella group for drug distributors, said in a statement that accusations that distributors were responsible for the abuse of opioid prescriptions defied common sense and lacked understanding of how the pharmaceutical supply chain worked.

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt announced a lawsuit Tuesday against pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma. The privately-held company in February said it stopped promoting opioids to physicians after widespread criticism of the ways drugmakers market highly addictive painkillers. The attorneys general of five other states took similar legal action today against the Stamford, Connecticut-based pharmaceutical giant.

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MA last week sent a letter to Purdue notifying the company of its intention to sue. The attorney general said his office was seeking an out-of-court settlement with Purdue.

Mónica Villarreal, a mental health policy fellow with the left leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities, said in an email statement that the lawsuit could address important issues around the available opioid supply in Texas.

In a press release, the attorney general's office said the sales of Purdue Pharma opioids are worth billions of dollars every year nationwide.

Separate litigation involving at least 433 lawsuits by US cities and counties has been consolidated in a federal court in Cleveland, Ohio. The defendants include opioid manufacturers Purdue Pharma LP, J&J, Teva, Endo International Plc and drug distributors AmerisourceBergen Corp, Cardinal Health Inc and McKesson Corp.

The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction; a $1,000 fine for each TCPA violation; a $10,000 fine for each TCPA violation targeting the elderly; disgorgement of "ill-gotten gains;" restitution; a $2,000 fine for each violation of the 2007 judgment; a nuisance abatement order; equitable costs of abating the nuisance on behalf of the state and its political subdivisions and damages.

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