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South Carolina sues drug manufacturer over opioid crisis

  • South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, left, stands next to Rep. Eric Bedingfield, whose son died last year of a drug overdose, on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, at his offices in Columbia, S.C. Wilson on Tuesday announced the state had sued Purdue Pharma, accusing the maker of OxyContin and other opioid drugs of violating South Carolina’s Unfair Trade Practices Act. Photo: Meg Kinnard, AP / AP

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina has become the latest state to accuse a drug manufacturer of exacerbating its opioid drug crisis by using deceptive marketing, with the state’s top prosecutor suing the maker of OxyContin.

Attorney General Alan Wilson on Tuesday announced the state had sued Purdue Pharma, accusing the maker of OxyContin and other opioid drugs of violating South Carolina’s Unfair Trade Practices Act.

“While we vigorously deny the allegations, we share South Carolina officials’ concerns about the opioid crisis and we are committed to working collaboratively to find solutions,” Purdue Pharma responded in a statement.

The suit, filed in Richland County, accuses Purdue of failing to comply with a 2007 agreement it signed with South Carolina and dozens of other states over allegations of its promotion of OxyContin. Purdue admitted no fault in that case, which accused the company of encouraging doctors to prescribe OxyContin for unapproved uses and failing to disclose its potential for addiction.

That consent agreement required Purdue to correct its allegedly abusive and excessive marketing practices, maintain a program to identify prescribers who over-prescribe OxyContin…

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