DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is joining more than 40 other states in suing the manufacturer of Oxycontin.
Miller said in a news conference Thursday that he is filing a lawsuit in Polk County District Court against Purdue Pharma. Miller said the company engaged in unlawful and deceptive marketing practices while promoting their drug oxycontin.
The suit alleges that Pardue employed sales representatives to market directly to doctors and patients, underplayed the risk of addiction, and published incorrect views on their drug into medical publications and medical schools.
The suit also names the company’s CEO Richard Sackler, who they say pushed employees to participate in deceptive marketing.
The attorneys general want to end those marketing practices and gain restitution for those who used the drug.
“That change in America, in American sort of medicine and practices was devastating for so many Americans. From 1999 to 2017, 218,000 Americans lost their lives in regard to opioid-related prescription drugs. A little more than 2,000 over a comparable period lost their lives in Iowa,” said Miller.
This comes less than a week after the Iowa Attorney General joined 43 other states in suing a number of pharmaceutical companies for what they say were unfair business practices like price fixing, rigging bids, and artificially inflating costs.
On its website, Purdue Pharma said it “strongly denies the allegations made against the company in the pending litigation but is committed to working with all relevant parties towards a constructive resolution.”