AG Jennings files suit against family behind Purdue Pharma

Attorney General Kathy Jennings on September 9 sued seven members of the Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma, for their role in the opioid crisis in Delaware.

The lawsuit accuses the family member of falsely and deceptively marketing opioids, sowing the seeds of an epidemic that has destroyed thousands of Delawareans.

“The Sacklers have blood on their hands,” said Attorney General Jennings. “More than 1,400 Delawareans suffered fatal drug overdoses from 2014 to 2018, and nearly 200 Delaware lives have been claimed by addiction this year alone. We cannot bring back the loved ones, friends and neighbors who have been taken by the opioid crisis—but we can and must seek justice and accountability for the victims of the Sacklers’ avarice, callousness and fraud.”

The complaint alleges that, through their controlling stake in Purdue and their intricate involvement in company operations, the Sackler defendants managed, controlled, and directed a decades-long pattern of aggressive sales tactics, misleading literature, and false claims.

These tactics were meant to downplay the highly addictive nature of drugs like OxyContin, sell excessive quantities of the drug, and convince doctors, regulatory authorities, and the public that opioid addiction was the fault of users—many of whom, Purdue claimed, simply needed greater doses of prescription painkillers.

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