Alabama holding a pharmaceutical company accountable for ongoing opioid epidemic

(WTVM) - Alabama's Attorney General Steve Marshall filed a lawsuit in Montgomery federal court Tuesday against Purdue Pharmaceutical.

Purdue is a manufacturer of OxyContin and other opioids. Alabama is has become the latest state to hold drug companies accountable.

The lawsuit claims Purdue Pharmaceutical knew and has known for years of the effectiveness of opioids after long-term use. The lawsuit also says Purdue engaged in deceptive marketing so that opioids would be prescribed not just for severe short-term pain, but for common aches and pains, as well.

This is not a new cause being adopted by Marshall. Back in December, he spoke about the epidemic and his plans to help end it.

"It's going to take multiple disciplines from public health, mental health, communities and law enforcement," said Marshall. "To be able to come together to be able to make a dent in what is many people in the state dying from overdose every day."

Alabama is ranked first in the nation of painkiller prescriptions with more than 5.8 million opioid prescriptions written in 2015.

Marshall says the suit is seeking monetary damages and changes to Purdue's marking practices.

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