"We are disappointed that after months of good faith negotiations working toward a meaningful resolution to help these states address the opioid crisis, this group of attorneys general have unilaterally made a decision to pursue a costly and protracted litigation process", Purdue said.
At a press conference today, Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that his office filed a consumer protection lawsuit in Travis County District Court against Purdue Pharma for violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) involving the company's prescription opioids, including OxyContin.
Stenehjem estimates Purdue has raked in almost 35 billion dollars from opioids over the years that have taken thousands of lives, numbers he calls unconscionable. Purdue Pharma alone faces more than a dozen lawsuits by states including Texas.
"We are disappointed that after months of good faith negotiations working toward a meaningful resolution to help these states address the opioid crisis, this group of attorneys general have unilaterally chose to pursue a costly and protracted litigation process", Purdue said in a statement.
The lawsuit also alleges that the drug company downplayed concerns about opioid addictions by "hyping" a concept known as "pseudo-addiction".
He says the filing by these attorneys general promises costly and protracted litigation.
"Purdue is the target here because it is one of the largest opioid manufacturers, it pioneered the expansion of the opioid market that caused the opioid epidemic", said Wayne Stenehjem, Attorney General. He says proceeds from the lawsuit should be devoted to opioid treatment programs.
"As a matter of common sense, drugs that can kill patients or commit them to a life of addiction or recovery do not 'improve their function and quality of life, '" said Stenehjem, adding the state will continue its investigation and look into the liability of additional companies that share responsibility for this epidemic.
The multistate group plans to continue settlement negotiations with other companies. Other investigations remain ongoing.
Laxalt spokeswoman Monica Moazez says similar lawsuits were expected in Florida, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.