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Tue May 14, 2019, 06:04 PM

Maker of OxyContin gets hit with another state lawsuit

PHILADELPHIA (AP) The company that makes OxyContin did not stop pitching the powerful opioid painkiller to doctors even when its sales representatives raised concerns that they were prescribing the drug inappropriately, the Pennsylvania attorney general's office said in a lawsuit announced Tuesday.

The lawsuit against Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma was filed on May 2 under seal and announced on Tuesday. It made Pennsylvania at least the 39th state to sue the company seeking to hold it responsible for the toll of opioids, which have been killing more people in the U.S. and Pennsylvania each year than car crashes.

The suit says Purdue drug representatives have made 531,000 detailing calls on doctors in the state since 2007, when the company settled with Pennsylvania and 25 other states agreeing to stop identifying illegal diversion of its OxyContin and to promote it only for federally approved uses.

Only California doctors heard from the company more, the state says.

The suit names several doctors whom the state says the company continued to call on to promote opioids despite signs that they were prescribing to addicts or worrying pharmacies with their prescribing levels. The complaint singled out one Philadelphia doctor Jeffrey Bado as one of the nation's biggest prescribers of opioids. The doctor lost his license in 2013 and was convicted in 2016 crimes including causing the death of a patient.

Read more: https://www.readingeagle.com/article/20190514/AP/305149864/1009

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