News on Purdue Pharma…

(Dan here…From Esquire comes this note from the Boston Globe):

We begin with good news up here in the Commonwealth (God save it!), where Attorney General Maura Healey, who does not punch down, has opened hostilities against the pharmaceutical companies that have raked in the profits from the opioid crisis. From The Boston Globe:

She asserts that the privately held company and 16 of its key directors and executives actively obfuscated the truth about opioid use, downplaying the perils of addiction and overdoses with the aim of getting more people to take them at higher doses for longer periods of time in order to boost the business’s bottom line. “Purdue Pharma created the epidemic and profited from it through a web of illegal deceit,” the lawsuit alleges. While several other state attorneys general have taken similar legal action against Purdue, Healey’s action Tuesday opens a new front in the battle against the scourge of overdoses in Massachusetts. And the suit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, hints the state could be seeking damages to the tune of billions of dollars.

“We found that Purdue misled doctors, patients, and the public about the real risks of their dangerous opioids, including OxyContin,” Healey said at a news conference, standing next to officials including Governor Charlie Baker as well as families who have lost loved ones to overdoses. “Their strategy was simple: The more drugs they sold, the more money they made — and the more people died,” Healey said. An investigation by Healey’s office found that since 2009, 671 people who filled prescriptions for Purdue opioids in Massachusetts subsequently died of an opioid-related overdose, the legal complaint says.