Texas joins lawsuits against company accused of worsening opioid epidemic

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"Since the release of OxyContin, Purdue has engaged in an extensive, well-crafted and highly targeted deceptive marketing campaign to spread false and misleading messages to health care professionals and patients in Nevada".

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

"My office is holding Purdue Pharma accountable for fueling the nation's opioid epidemic by deceptively marketing prescription painkillers including OxyContin when it knew their drugs were potentially unsafe and that its use had a high likelihood of leading to addiction", Attorney General Paxton said.

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"It's time the defendants pay for the pain and the destruction they've caused", Florida State Attorney General Pam Bondi said Tuesday.

Opioids are a family of drugs that include prescription painkillers such as OxyContin as well as illegal drugs like heroin.

Stenehjem says at least 251 people have died from opioid overdoses in North Dakota.

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Opioids were involved in more than 42,000 overdose deaths in 2016, the past year for which data was available, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The lawsuit also accuses Purdue Pharma of targeting seniors and other "vulnerable" populations. Other investigations remain ongoing.

The Tennessee Attorney General's office is leading a bipartisan, multi-state group in this lawsuit against various opioid manufacturers and distributors as well as participating as a non-party in settlement discussions of another lawsuit pending in Cleveland, Ohio.

The state alleges that Purdue made unsubstantiated claims regarding the benefits of long-term opioids treatment and falsely represented that opioid use improved patients' function and quality of life. Of the top 25 cities for opioid abuse, four are in Texas - Texarkana, Amarillo, Odessa and Longview.

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