CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Five state attorneys general announced lawsuits Thursday seeking to hold the drug industry responsible for the opioid addiction crisis.
The new filings in Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, West Virginia and Wisconsin mean that 45 states have now taken legal action against Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. Some states have also sued other drugmakers or distributors.
Nebraska is not among the states that have filed lawsuits. A spokeswoman for Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said Thursday that state attorneys are considering suing Purdue Pharma. Nebraska officials are talking with other states that have already filed lawsuits.
The 45 states and about 2,000 local and tribal governments — including the four tribes in Nebraska — say Purdue and other companies downplayed the addiction dangers of the drugs and used sales representatives to encourage doctors to prescribe even more of them.
Purdue denies wrongdoing.