The legal news website Law360 is reporting that Purdue Pharma settled a lawsuit with the Commonwealth of Kentucky over the narcotic OxyContin, ending nearly nine years of litigation, the state’s attorney general announced Wednesday.
Under the terms of the settlements, Purdue will pay $24 million without admitting any liability.
“These companies engaged in reckless behavior that put our citizens at risk,” Attorney General Jack Conway said. “Both companies knowingly and aggressively marketed drugs they knew to be harmful in order to drive profits. I am pleased we were able to recover damages for the Commonwealth and recover funds to help expand addiction treatment in Kentucky.”
The state’s lawsuit against Purdue alleged that that the company defrauded its Medicaid program by knowingly downplaying the addictiveness of OxyContin to patients and doctors. The alleged misrepresentations led doctors to prescribe the drug — and Medicaid to cover it — much more than they would have if they had known the risks.
However, this is nothing new to Purdue Pharma. Amongst other lawsuits, Purdue paid $700 million in 2007 to settle allegations of fraudulent and deceptive marketing relating to the drug. It seems that has not curbed Purdue’s appetite for profits at the expense of human lives.
Thousands are dead. No one responsible has ever seen the inside of a jail cell. And the addict remains the one to be blamed.