Beasley Allen has joined Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall in filing a complaint on behalf of the State of Alabama against opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma, L.P., one of the largest opioid manufacturers in the country. The complaint alleges Purdue’s marketing of these drugs contributed to the creation of the opioid epidemic, an Alabama public health and safety crisis. The state is represented by Beasley Allen lawyers Rhon E. Jones, who is head of the firm’s Toxic Torts Section and who in this case is acting as Deputy Attorney General, firm Principal & Founder Jere Beasley, Richard D. Stratton, William R. Sutton, and J. Ryan Kral, together with Joshua P. Hayes, who also is acting as Deputy Attorney General, and Robert F. Prince of Prince, Glover & Hayes law firm in Tuscaloosa.
“Alabama’s opioid crisis has been, and is still being, fueled by pharmaceutical manufacturer Purdue, which has deceptively and illegally marketed opioids in order to generate billions of dollars in sales,” Jones said. “Purdue primarily manufactures and sells opioids and is misrepresenting the risks of these highly addictive painkillers, plainly putting profits over people. The rampant use and abuse of opioids is devastating to both the citizens of and the State of Alabama.”
Economic damages resulting from the opioid epidemic include costs for providing medical care, therapeutic care, and treatments for patients suffering from opioid-related addiction or disease, including overdoses and deaths; costs for providing counseling and rehabilitation services; costs for treating infants born with opioid-related medical conditions; public safety and law enforcement expenses; and care for children whose parents suffer from opioid-related disability or incapacitation.
Purdue manufactures, markets, and sells prescription opioid pain medications, including the brand name drugs OxyContin, MS Contin, Dilaudid/Dilaudid HP, Butrans, Hysingla ER, and Targiniq ER, as well as generic opioids. OxyContin constitutes roughly 30 percent of the entire market for analgesic drugs (painkillers). Purdue’s drugs compose a majority of the extended-release market, for use with chronic non-cancer pain patients, which is the most dangerous method of use. Prescription opioids constitute the largest component of the opioid epidemic, both in quantity and damage caused.
The complaint is filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama Northern Division, case number 2:18-CV-00089. In addition to AG Marshall, the state is represented by Corey L. Maze, Special Deputy Attorney General; Winfield J. Sinclair, Assistant Attorney General; and Michael G. Dean, Assistant Attorney General.
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