MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Attorney General Lori Swanson has filed a lawsuit against a major opioid manufacturer, Purdue Pharma, the company that makes OxyContin.
Attorney General Lori Swanson made the announcement on Monday. She says the company misrepresented the risks of addiction to OxyContin. She also says it blamed addiction on patients and not the drug.READ MORE: Man Hospitalized After Hit-And-Run In Brooklyn Park
“Painkillers can be helpful and beneficial for treating pain when they’re properly prescribed and properly used by the patient. But they also can be harmful when they’re improperly prescribed and improperly used. In this case, the company lied and engaged in these misrepresentations,” Swanson said.
Swanson said that she hopes damages recovered from the lawsuit will go to help fund treatment for those in the community affected by the drug.
Recently, the City of Minneapolis sued a group opioid manufacturers and distributors, including Purdue Pharma.READ MORE: Aromatherapy Spray Linked To Deadly Tropical Disease; 1 Minnesotan Among Those Sickened In U.S.
“Across Minneapolis, people’s lives have been upended and families have been torn apart by the opioid epidemic,” Mayor Jacob Frey said. “With legislative efforts to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable stalled at the state and federal levels, our city is charting its own legal course and bringing the fight directly to opioid manufacturers and distributors.”
A Native American community in South Minneapolis, Little Earth, has been hit hardest by the opioid epidemic.
“There have been many opioid deaths and overdoses in the Little Earth community, and there aren’t enough treatment and preventative programs available,” said City Council member Alondra Cano, who chairs the Public Safety and Emergency Management Committee.
Opioids are commonly prescribed as a painkiller. Using the drug for a long period of time can lead to a drug dependence. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2016, about two-thirds of drug overdose deaths were from an opioid.MORE NEWS: Child Hurt In St. Paul Shooting; Investigation Underway
“We’ve seen a sharp rise in calls for opioid overdoses,” said Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel. “In just two years, Fire Department crews have administered approximately 500 doses of naloxone to save people suffering from opioid overdoses.