The Post and Courier reported the lawsuit filed by South Carolina against Purdue Pharma which is one of the largest pain pill manufacturers in the nation. The complaint filed is aimed at Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin — one of many synthetic opioids that have been manufactured, shipped, prescribed and sold throughout the United States.
The lawsuit accuses Purdue of failing to comply with a 2007 agreement it signed with South Carolina over allegations of its promotion of OxyContin. The State accuses the drug manufacturer of encouraging doctors to prescribe pain pills for unapproved uses and downplaying how addictive the company’s prescriptions are.
“Opioid addiction is a public health menace to South Carolina,” AG Wilson said as family members of overdose victims and addiction survivors stood behind him. “We cannot let history record that we stood by while this epidemic rages.” Wilson said the scourge has cost South Carolina billions of dollars.
More than 565 South Carolinians died of an overdose tied to highly addictive opioids in 2015, the most recent year that data is available. Opiods are the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.
State Medicaid data shows that 1,855 prescriptions — or more than $1 million worth — of OxyContin reimbursed under the state-run insurance program last year. That number is down from the 3,620 prescriptions worth more than $2 million that were reimbursed in 2012.