Massachusetts pre-hearing memorandum in case against Purdue Pharma

Summary and Analysis

This links to the the pre-hearing memorandum from Massachusetts in their case against Purdue Pharma.

In general, the case centers around Purdue Pharma publicly denial that its opioids were addictive, although internally they acknowledged it and devised a plan to profit from them. The family that owns Purdue Pharma, the Sacklers, approved public marketing plans that labeled people hurt by opioids as "junkies" and "criminals" according to an NPR piece "Lawsuit Details How The Sackler Family Allegedly Built An Oxycontin Fortune".

Excerpted from Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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Excerpt from the redacted version of the Massachusetts First Amended Complaint against Purdue and members of the Sackler family:

1. Dangerous opioid drugs are killing people across Massachusetts. Prescription medicines, which are supposed to protect our health, are instead ruining people’s lives. Every community in our Commonwealth suffers from the epidemic of addiction and death.

2. Purdue Pharma created the epidemic and profited from it through a web of illegal deceit. First, Purdue deceived Massachusetts doctors and patients to get more and more people on its dangerous drugs. Second, Purdue misled them to use higher and more dangerous doses. Third, Purdue deceived them to stay on its drugs for longer and more harmful periods of time. All the while, Purdue peddled falsehoods to keep patients away from safer alternatives. Even when Purdue knew people in Massachusetts were addicted and dying, Purdue treated doctors and their patients as targets to sell more drugs. At the top of Purdue, a small group of executives led the deception and pocketed millions of dollars.

3. On behalf of the Commonwealth, the Attorney General asks the Court to end Purdue’s illegal conduct and make Purdue and its culpable executives pay for the harm they inflicted in our state.