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Minnesota suing drug maker over opioid deaths

Lori Swanson

Says faulty research on OcyContin was promoted.

Posted: Jul 2, 2018 5:22 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota is suing the major painkiller producer of OxyContin, alleging the pharmaceutical company misrepresented the medication and contributed to overdose deaths.

Attorney General Lori Swanson filed the lawsuit against Purdue Pharma on Monday. It comes amid ongoing negotiations between Purdue and several states, including Minnesota.

But Swanson tells the Star Tribune those negotiations weren't moving fast enough in federal court. She said Purdue touted faulty research saying OxyContin was not addictive and exacerbated patient addiction and deaths.

Minnesota Department of Health data shows deaths linked to opioid painkillers jumped from 54 in 2000 to 401 last year.

A Purdue spokesman said Swanson's lawsuit would trigger "a costly and protracted litigation process." Swanson is running for governor as a Democrat this year.

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