Montana files lawsuit against OxyContin manufacturer

Monday it was announced by Montana Attorney General Tim Fox that the state has filed a lawsuit in Helena first judicial district court against Purdue Pharma makers of the opioid painkiller OxyContin. Fox started the news conference by letting the numbers sink in.

“Since the year 2000 over 700 people in Montana from opioid overdose,” Fox said. “Between 2011 and 2013, prescription drug overdoses sent over 7,000 Montanans to the emergency room. During that same two year time period, prescription drugs were responsible for at least 369 deaths.”

Then it was time to announce the findings of an investigation done by the State Attorney General into Purdue Pharma.

“This company has gone to great lengths to conceal the dangers of their product, while misleading and exploiting physicians in a way that creates thousands of addicts dependent on their drug and it’s time to put an end to this abuse,” Fox said. Fox on what this lawsuit accuses.

“(Purdue Pharma) misrepresented the likelihood that long-term use of their drug would lead to addiction, falsely claiming that use of OxyContin would improve overall health quality and failing to disclose the harmful side effects caused by long-term opioid use.”

It’s unclear what monetary damages the state is seeking, but Fox calls it significant.