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Pennsylvania Sues Purdue Pharma for Its Tactics in Selling OxyContin

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Josh ShapiroPennsylvania has filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma, claiming the company fueled the opioid epidemic through its sales of painkiller OxyContin, the state attorney general announced Tuesday.

The civil charges follow a two-year investigation into Purdue and other pharmaceutical companies that have for years given millions of Americans access to powerful opioid-based pain killers through doctors, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.

Shapiro laid blame for the epidemic in part on Purdue's corporate structure and business conduct. He claims Purdue salespeople made more than 500,000 visits to doctors in Pennsylvania since 2007, more than any other state except California.

"The conduct is absolutely outrageous and unlawful," Shapiro said of the marketing used by Purdue. He noted that OxyContin was pitched as "non-addictive, appropriate for use for chronic pain and good for 12 hours."


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