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Purdue Pharma is launching its counterattack against a lawsuit filed by the Massachusetts attorney general that alleges that the company, which makes opioid painkillers including OxyContin, seeded the state’s opioid crisis by misleading the public and prescribers about its drugs’ risk of addiction and overdose.

In a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which has been sent to state Attorney General Maura Healey, Purdue argues that the suit makes outrageous claims but lacks the factual foundation or legal merits to put forward such assertions. It says the state fails to demonstrate that Purdue’s products and actions caused the opioid crisis, as the suit contends.

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  • The power of Opioid prescriptions has been under-respected for decennia, hence it has lead to the crisis now costing so many lives. The reaction to cut the number and strengths of prescriptions is logical. Yet this is a disaster for those people in horrible pain for whom only opioids provide relief and for whom inaccessibility to proper painkillers is absolute brutal torture.
    What is missing but should be targeted for is a BALANCED approach, not knee-jerk reactions. There IS a place for opioids, in a sensible, measured, controlled, guided manner.
    Opioid drug manufacturers who have buried knowledge of severe adverse effects of their drugs have to stand to be punished. But as they are just one group of the pundits, corrective / punitive measures need to be adjudicated to ALL at fault of profiting, whether in cash, or bonuses, or perks.
    And meanwhile, as damage has been done and more damage ought to be prevented: governments and health care institutions need to vastly step up addiction programs and efforts to address and reduce / prevent addiction.

    • Chris, I agree, it can’t be all or nothing. Until a tried and true replacement exists, opioids are the best option for many. The alternatives that we currently have at our disposal come with their own hazzards. Unless you or a family member or close friend suffers from chronic untractable pain, you could never know the suffering and loss of independence it can cause. The whole focal point had been about the addicts and how to take care of them, while legitimate patients are abandoned and left to endure the consequences. It’s sad, cruel and inhumane.

  • Mr. Roche, then tell me why they are approved for chronic pain by the FDA, our regulatory agency on such matters? You’re just another pencil pusher who sits on his ass all day. Try working a day in my shoes and you’d be crying for your mommy. Total ignorance!

  • I hope they all get thrown out. I’ve taken these types of medications and it was always clear that they may be habit forming. Doctors need to do a better job conveying the information to patients about safe use, safe storage and disposal of any unused medications. This opioid hysteria is totally out of control. It’s so easy to blame everyone else for our shortcomings. I get it, some people have addictive natures. Those individuals are the ones that need to find alternative medication to address their pain. The answe isn’t to panic and take away everyone’s medication, leaving many to suffer, and some so much that they choose suicide as their end to suffering, UNACCEPTABLE! Here’s my advice to you if you somehow manage to get prescribed an opiate (most doctors are too damn scared or lazy to deal with the new scrutiny) if you find yourself getting addicted, let someone know….get help…. you go to the streets to buy drugs…’re a criminal…plain and simple…take personal responsibility and stop blaming everyone else….your stupidity is causing legitimate pain patients to suffer.

    • Your stupidity is causing thousands to die. Opioids were not made for chronic pain. They were created for acute pain such as a broken bone or for short term pain relief after a surgery. Users of opioid medications when used for a prolonged amount of time build a tolerance to the medications. Once this happens, higher dosages are prescribed. When those people stop using the opioid medication they go through withdrawal. Pain patients like to say they are merely “dependent “ on opioids. NO, WHEN YOU STOP TAKING OPIOIDS AND YOU GO THROUGH WITH WITHDRAWAL AND ARE DESPERATE TO GET MORE OPIOIDS……….THAT IS ADDICTION! It does not matter is your drug dealer wears a lab coat. Purdue knew what they were doing when they flooded the market and American homes with what basically amounts to heroin in a prescription bottle!

    • Lance, I agree with what you have said. I am one of those patients who, after being involved in a severe car accident and having had back surgery in which metal was used to hold my spine together, was given methadone, but only after several other medications were tried only to find I was allergic to many of them. Methadone was the one that worked at the smallest dose and didn’t cause me to have any bad reactions. I was on methadone for over 14 years and was suddenly taken off of it in 2017, because of all the mindless talk of all the deaths from opioids! People who have a genetic disposition to addiction are always going to find drugs they are addicted to and if not opioids they will find something else to take its place! After being on methadone for 14 years and suddenly having to go off of it, I had no withdrawal symptoms at all! What I did have was all the pain back, not that I was ever pain free but was at least able to function and walk my dogs up to 2 miles a day! Now, I’m on oxycontin which does very little for me. I haven’t been able to walk my dogs but a short distance in 2 years! My doctor tried to find me someone who would again prescribe methadone for me but found out there was no one in Wisconsin that would prescribe methadone any more!! I’ve often thought of taking my life or praying I would die in my sleep. The only thing that does keep me going is my dogs because I know if anything happened to me, my adult kids would just give them to the shelter rather then take care of them and they have all come from shelters and abusive homes! I took the same amount of methadone for most of the 14 years I was on it and did not build up a tolerance to it! I took a total of 40 mg. a day while on methadone. I do NOT blame the companies who made these medications in order to help people who suffer from severe pain, as I do! I blame the addicts and the people who are prescribed these opioids only to turn around and sell them on the streets! It’s funny that the doctors will prescribe me oxycontin and Percocet but not methadone, the one drug that would give me my life back or some semblance of it! I think Mr. Roche is a complete Moron and knows nothing of addicts and their addictions, not to mention his implication that everyone who takes opioids is, or will become, an addict!

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