et another local government is suing a drug maker for helping to spread the opioid epidemic. But unlike previous lawsuits that accused companies of deliberately downplaying risks and improperly encouraging prescribing, the city of Everett, Wash., has taken a new tack. The municipality charged that Purdue Pharma diverted its OxyContin painkiller into the black market through drug rings and pill mills.

In its lawsuit, the city contended Purdue failed to track suspicious orders and notify law enforcement if criminal activity was suspected, despite having collected “extensive data” about illegal trafficking. As an example, the lawsuit cited a black market ring that was the subject of an investigation last year by The Los Angeles Times, which found Purdue did not notify authorities or stop the flow of pills.

This is a STAT Plus article and is only available to STAT Plus subscribers.
To read the full story, subscribe to STAT Plus or log in to your account.
Good news: your first 30 days are on us.

Sign up for our
Daily Recap newsletter

A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day in science and medicine — delivered straight to your inbox every weekday afternoon.

Recommended Stories