North Carolina is taking a big drug company to court.
Attorney General Josh Stein filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, which makes Oxycontin. Stein alleges the company's actions had deadly consequences, deceiving both prescribers and patients for profit.
"When doctors expressed concerns about these dangerous and addictive drugs on their patients, Purdue tried to not only minimize those concerns but to encourage the doctors to prescribe them more," Stein said.
The NC attorney general also said Purdue used deceptive marketing techniques, including targeting vulnerable patients like veterans and seniors.
Additionally, the lawsuit states Purdue pushed a concept called pseudo-addiction. With no scientific basis, the company would downplay doctors' fears to push more opioids on patients.
Similar lawsuits were expected in Florida, Nevada, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.
Connecticut-based Purdue denied the claims in an email statement to The Associated Press that said it will defend itself.
Company spokesman Bob Josephson says the civil lawsuits followed months of negotiations with state officials to address the opioid crisis.
He says the filing by these attorneys general promises costly and protracted litigation.
Copyright 2018 WECT. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.