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The Latest: Hawaii sues opioid maker for deceptive marketing

June 4, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on lawsuits filed against opioid maker Purdue Pharma.

5:45 p.m.

Hawaii has joined other states in filing lawsuits against opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma.

Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors said in a statement Monday that she has filed lawsuits for violations of Hawaii’s Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices Law.

One complaint alleges Purdue deceptively marketed OxyContin and other opioids. Another says manufacturers sold more opioids than could be “legitimately prescribed.”

Connors said in the statement that the opioid epidemic is a national tragedy, and those responsible should be held accountable.

Penalties under Hawaii law include fines of up $10,000 per violation. Hawaii is also seeking punitive damages, the statement said.

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1 p.m.

Maine’s attorney general says in a lawsuit that Purdue Pharma deceptively marketed opioid drugs in the state over a decade while the opioid crisis worsened.

Attorney General Aaron Frey filed the suit Monday against Purdue and members of the family that owns it. Lawsuits were also filed by California and the District of Columbia.

Frey says Purdue and the Sackler family misled Maine consumers and played a significant role in accelerating the opioid epidemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says prescription opioids were involved in 100 overdose deaths in Maine in 2017.

The state set a record for total drug overdose deaths that year with 417.

Purdue has vowed to fight the lawsuits, calling them “misleading attacks.” The company is based in Stamford, Connecticut.

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11:10 a.m.

California’s attorney general is suing the pharmaceutical company behind the painkiller OxyContin.

The lawsuit filed Monday accuses Purdue Pharma of falsely promoting the drug as not addictive even as it emerged as among the most widely abused in the United States.

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra accused Purdue and its former president, Richard Sackler, of stoking the crisis through its irresponsible practices.

America’s most populous state is the latest to join a number of lawsuits against Purdue Pharma as the country grapples with a rising number of fatal drug overdoses linked to opioids.

Purdue settled a lawsuit by the state of Oklahoma in March for $270 million. The company has also said it is pursuing several options, including bankruptcy.

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