Statewide Iowa — Iowa Attorney General Miller is joining in a lawsuit with four other states alleging a pharmaceutical company used deceptive and unlawful practices in the marketing of the painkiller OxyContin.
Miller says Purdue Pharma helping fuel the nation’s opioid crisis by sending out a sales force that repeatedly made false and deceptive claims that OxyContin was safe and suitable for a wide range of pain patients. Miller says the company tried to hide the fact that OxContin was twice as powerful as other pain killers.
He says the deception continued as Perdue claimed the drug would last for 12 hours, when it often only lasted eight hours. Miller says the company didn’t listen when people reported the drug wearing off sooner.
Miller says their answer to the issue only made things worse.
The lawsuit is against Purdue Pharma and its former president and board chairman, Richard Sackler, and seeks restitution and civil penalties under Iowa’s Consumer Fraud Act. Miller says OxyContin can be effective if used in the right way, but Purdue Pharma pushed to rapidly expand its use when other safer alternatives were available. The Iowa Department of Public Health says from 2000 to 2018 there were two-thousand-51 opioid-related deaths in Iowa.