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Mississippi, Alabama hospitals suing more than a dozen opioid manufacturers

Mississippi hospitals are taking action against several pharmaceutical companies, claiming deceptive marketing and selling of opioids.

McComb’s Southwest Regional Medical Center filed suit against opioid manufacturers in Jackson Thursday, along with two hospitals in Alabama, according to the Clarion Ledger.

The lawsuit rests on the claim Purdue Pharma (which manufactures OxyContin and is at the center of the suit), Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceutical, Endo Pharmaceuticals and other manufacturers “pushed highly addictive, dangerous opioids, falsely representing to doctors that patients would only rarely succumb to drug addiction.”

Purdue is on the receiving end of most claims alleging deceitful marketing and misleading information about how addictive opioids actually are.

Former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore—who led the charge against Big Tobacco in the 1990s—called out Purdue and others accused of fueling the nation’s opioid epidemic in a recent NPR interview:

“When you have the toll of anywhere from 35 to 50,000 people died in the last few years every year, everybody’s going to know somebody that died,” Moore said.  “… it’s not some guy in the back hallways or back roads. It’s your neighbor, you know? It’s a 19-year-old son. It’s a 35-year-old parent of three children. It’s a very, very bad epidemic.”

Purdue released a statement to the Clarion Ledger regarding the claims:

We are deeply troubled by the opioid crisis and we are dedicated to being part of the solution. As a company grounded in science, we must balance patient access to FDA-approved medicines, while working collaboratively to solve this public health challenge. Although our products account for approximately 2% of the total opioid prescriptions, as a company, we’ve distributed the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, developed three of the first four FDA-approved opioid medications with abuse-deterrent properties and partner with law enforcement to ensure access to naloxone. We vigorously deny these allegations and look forward to the opportunity to present our defense.

Read more at ClarionLedger.com.