The Indiana Attorney General filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma. The lawsuit alleges the company minimized the risks of addiction and exaggerated the benefits of opioids.
Attorney General Curtis Hill says Purdue Pharma’s promotion of opioids in Indiana “played a key role” in the state’s opioid crisis.
He says this litigation is different from the lawsuits filed by 27 other states, including Illinois and Ohio, because it alleges Purdue Pharma violated four Indiana laws including, the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act.
“We’re filing an action based on practices here in Indiana, the impact here in Indiana, and the laws here in Indiana,” Hill says.
In the 92-page complaint filed Wednesday, the state alleges the company targeted elderly and opioid naïve patients to make them into long-term users. It also alleges Purdue Pharma encouraged long-term opioid use by creating low-cost or free trial periods for OxyContin, Butrans, and Hysingla.
Hill says the lawsuit comes on the heels of a two year investigation conducted by the attorney general’s office.
“This litigation represents one more weapon in our arsenal to combat opioid cri–the opioid crisis,” Hill says.
Several cities in Indiana have also filed lawsuits against the company, including Indianapolis, Bloomington, Lafayette and Fort Wayne.
In 2017, more than 1,700 Hoosiers died from a drug overdose, an all-time high in the state.