Attorney General Aaron M. Frey filed a complaint today in Kennebec County Superior Court against Purdue Pharma L.P., and members of the Sackler family, who own and control Purdue, alleging that they committed unfair and deceptive business practices in violation of the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act. The complaint describes Purdue’s successful efforts to deceptively market opioid drugs in Maine from 2007 through 2017, as Maine’s opioid crisis reached epidemic levels.
“Purdue and the Sackler defendants misled Maine consumers and in doing so played a significant role in accelerating the opioid epidemic,” wrote Frey in the press release. “Our complaint alleges that their unrelenting sales visits to doctors and deceptive practices led to a marked increase in opioid prescriptions, amd a corresponding increase in the number of Mainers suffering from opioid use disorder. Maine deserves accountability and redress from Purdue and the Sacklers.
As the complaint alleges,d the Sackler defendants increased the companies’ sales force nationally and in Maine which enabled them to increase their visits to Maine health care providers. As a consequence of the increased sales, sales of Purdue’s opioid rose in Maine and in 2012 Maine health care prescribers wrote prescriptions for long action opioid pain relievers the type Purdue sells – at the highest rate in the nation: 21.8 prescriptions for every 100 Mainers.
Maine has asked the court for relief including a permanent injunction, enjoining the defendants from engaging in any acts that violate the Maine Unfair Trade Practices, a civil penalty of up to $10,000, for each intentional violation of the Act and reasonable attorney’s fees.
Other states filed lawsuits against Purdue today – bringing the grand total to 40 other states.
Please see post herein dated June 2, 2019 on a Rally in downtown Portland.