In an unannounced press conference in Juneau this morning, the Walker Administration said it has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of OxyContin, an opioid.
Purdue Pharma, the subject of the state lawsuit, makes pain medicines such as hydromorphone, oxycodone, fentanyl, codeine and hydrocodone. Its brands include MS Contin, Oxycontin and Ryzolt.
“The claims that we’re bringing here are based on violations of Alaska state law,” said Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth, who alleged the company misled doctors regarding the risks and engaged in deceptive marketing tactics.
The investigation is ongoing and there may be additional claims that are brought against other companies, she said. The investigation is confidential and is sealed. The lawsuit was filed in Anchorage Superior Court yesterday.
The governor’s livestream video feed was cut for much of the announcement, so check back here for more details.
In September, Washington state sued Purdue Pharma, and the City of Seattle filed a separate lawsuit against Purdue, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Johnson & Johnson, Endo International Plc and Allergan plc.
Other states have filed similar lawsuits, including New Jersey, Louisiana, West Virginia, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, New Hampshire and South Carolina, as well as several cities and counties.
Lindemuth said she considered joining a multi-state lawsuit but decided to go it alone as a complaint for unfair trade practice and consumer protection under Alaska law.