Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said today that Alabama has filed a federal lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, L.P. and all of its subsidiaries.
The company produces OxyContin and other opioids that have proven to be highly addictive.
The state is seeking to hold Purdue Pharma financially accountable for an addiction epidemic.
The lawsuit claims Purdue Pharma created a deceptive marketing campaign to mislead patients about the drugs’ benefits and risks of addiction.
Alabama now joins several other U.S. cities and states in suing opioid manufacturers.
“The opioid epidemic has devastated Alabama families, leaving a trail of addiction and death winding through every community of this state,” said Attorney General Marshall in a statement. “Alabama ranks first in the nation for the number of painkiller prescriptions per capita. As a result, it is estimated that almost 30,000 of our residents over age 17 are dependent upon heroin and prescription painkillers. Alabama’s drug overdose death rate skyrocketed by 82 percent from 2006 to 2014 and it is believed that many of those deaths were from opioid painkillers and heroin. It will take years to undo the damage but an important first step we must take is to hold the parties responsible for this epidemic legally liable for the destruction they have unleashed upon our citizens.”