Maker of OxyContin, Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma, has been dragged to court by Camden County that has joined the legal battle against the opioid epidemic.
Camden County has filed a racketeering lawsuit against several pharmaceutical companies including Purdue Pharma as defendants. The lawsuit spans a hefty 177-pages and among them are some startling revelations about opioid overdose. The lawsuit points out hourly rates of fatal opioid overdoses while also detailing the profits made by opioid manufacturers due to this epidemic.
Freeholder Louis Cappelli Jr. is expected to announce the lawsuit later Wednesday morning in a news conference in Camden. While Purdue Pharma has been under attack and the subject of other legal action during the explosion of the opioid epidemic crisis, both the racketeering element of the suit and the naming of individuals are firsts.
The suit claims that owners of Purdue Pharma, and peddlers of OxyContin, the Sackler family are part of an epic scheme that deceived doctors and public by making them believe that opioids can be prescribed for long periods of time, with little to no risk of addiction, which the suit says is a blatant false premise.
The Sackler family’s wealth and its involvement in the making and marketing of OxyContin have been documented in multiple reports since 2015. Purdue Pharma previously paid a $600 million fine in 2007 over misleading marketing of the addictive drug.
The lawsuit also goes after other pain medicine makers and their distributors and retailers, including Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a division of New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson), Teva Pharmaceuticals, Insys Therapeutics, Endo International, Abbott Laboratories and Cephalon Inc., Mallinckrodt, AmeriSource Bergen, Cardinal Health, Costco, Walgreens, Rite Aid and others.
While the country tries to curb the epidemic, the companies and the Sackler family — which holds the patent for the drug — have made billions.