CHARLESTON, W.Va (WOWK) – Attorney General Patrick Morrisey sued Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin. The states of Maryland, Kansas, Iowa and Wisconsin also filed suits Thursday. The complaint alleges that Purdue flooded states with painkillers under the marketing phrase, “We sell hope in a bottle.” But West Virginia’s lawsuit notes that the Mountain State now has the highest opioid overdose death rate in the nation.
“Nothing can compensate, truly, for all the death and destruction that we’ve seen. But we’re going to do our best to help allay the concerns that people have in order to provide adequate treatment for people,” said Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, (R-West Virginia).
Morrisey came under criticism two weeks ago for a 37 Million dollar settlement with drugmaker McKesson. Many thought he could have gotten more. But Delegate Rodney Miller, a former Boone County Sheriff, says whatever Purdue finally pays, should go for treatment.
“It needs to go into addiction recovery, treatment. Things like that,” said Del. Rodney Miller, (D-Boone).
Purdue Pharma is being sued my dozens of other states, cities, and counties, and has threatened to file for bankruptcy.
“We recognize that if that happens that we may be in a different posture. But we’re still going to push our claims very, very hard,” said Morrissey.
Purdue Pharma issued a statement saying the “Complaints are part of a continuing effort to try these cases in the court of public opinion rather than the justice system. The states cannot link the conduct alleged, to the harm described.”
This marks the second time West Virginia has sued Purdue Pharma over opioids. The first settlement was $10 million to the Mountain State. This time the Attorney General and many others say they want a whole lot more.