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The Latest: Pennsylvania sues OxyContin maker over opioids

May 14, 2019

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Latest on Pennsylvania’s lawsuit against Purdue Pharma (all times local):

3:50 p.m.:

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office says sales representatives for the company that makes OxyContin kept encouraging doctors to prescribe the powerful opioid painkiller even when it realized they were serving patients who were addicted to the drug.

The state makes those allegations in a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma filed earlier this month and announced Tuesday.

Pennsylvania is at least the 39th state to sue the Connecticut-based company seeking to hold it accountable for an opioid addiction crisis.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro says the state sued because the company isn’t negotiating in good faith for a settlement — something the company disputes.

The company says in a statement that the claims are part of an effort to try cases in the court of public opinion rather than the justice system.

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2 p.m.:

The attorney general of Pennsylvania has filed a lawsuit accusing the company that makes OxyContin of fueling the opioid epidemic.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the lawsuit Tuesday against Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma. Pennsylvania is one of the states hardest hit by opioid addiction. It is at least the 39th state to sue Purdue.

Shapiro’s office two years ago joined with dozens of other states to investigate companies that make and distribute opioid painkillers.

Several Pennsylvania counties have already sued drugmakers, and a federal judge in Cleveland is overseeing more than 1,500 lawsuits filed by local governments, Native American tribes and others against the opioid industry.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says opioids were involved in a record 48,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2017.