Colorado Files Lawsuit Against Drug Maker

The AG filed suit against Purdue Pharma for opioid crisis responsibility

The Colorado Attorney General’s Office is officially stepping into the ring in a fight between local and state governments and the pharmaceutical industry.

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman on Thursday filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of the State of Colorado against Purdue Pharma, accusing the drug maker of playing a large part in causing the opioid epidemic in Colorado. The lawsuit is just one of many filed by cities, counties and states around the country against Purdue or other pharmaceutical companies. Colorado’s lawsuit claims Purdue misled Colorado health care providers and consumers about the addiction risks that go with prescription opioids and reaped large sums of money while many suffered from addiction and thousands in Colorado died. The lawsuit is the result of an investigation conducted by 40 state attorneys general and, according to Coffman, is only the beginning.

“Purdue unleashed a surge of prescription opioids on Coloradans while hiding the facts about their drugs’ addictive properties,” Coffman said in a press release. “Their corporate focus on making money took precedence over patients’ long-term health, and Colorado has been paying the price in loss of life and devastation of its communities as they struggle to address the ongoing opioid crisis. Purdue’s habit-forming medications coupled with their reckless marketing have robbed children of their parents, families of their sons and daughters, and destroyed the lives of our friends, neighbors, and co-workers. While no amount of money can bring back loved-ones, it can compensate for the enormous costs brought about by Purdue’s intentional misconduct.”

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the September 10, 2018 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.