South Carolina Sues Purdue, Claims Deceptive Marketing of Opioid
South Carolina joined the long list of states taking legal action against Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin (oxycodone), the company’s extended-release prescription opioid painkiller.
A lawsuit by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, filed in the Richland County Court of Common Pleas, claims Purdue violated the state’s Unfair Trade Practices Act and failed to comply with the terms of a 2007 consent judgment through deceptive marketing of OxyContin.
Purdue “prevented doctors and patients from receiving complete and accurate information about opioids in order to make informed choices about their treatment options,” Wilson said.
The lawsuit claims Purdue misleadingly told doctors:
- Patients receiving opioid prescriptions for pain generally would not become addicted;
- OxyContin provided 12 hours of relief when Purdue knew that, for many patients, it did not; and
- The newer, abuse-deterrent versions of OxyContin were effective in reducing abuse, even though Purdue knew users could defeat the design with relative ease.