Maryland takes legal action against OxyContin maker owners

FILE - This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy, in Montpelier, Vt. Five state attorneys general announced lawsuits Thursday, May 16, 2019, seeking to hold the drug industry responsible for an opioid addiction crisis that has become the biggest cause of accidental deaths across the country and in many states. The new filings in Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, West Virginia and Wisconsin mean 45 states have now taken legal action in recent years against Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. Some of the states are also suing Richard Sackler, a former president and member of the family that owns the Connecticut-based firm. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

BALTIMORE (AP) — The state of Maryland is accusing members of the family that owns the pharmaceutical company that makes OxyContin of deceptively marketing the drug.

The state joined four others Thursday in announcing legal actions seeking to hold the drug industry accountable for an opioid overdose and addiction crisis.

The office of Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh says the charging sheet filed in the state accuses the owners and former directors of Purdue Pharma of misleading doctors, patients and others about the appropriate uses, risks, safety and efficacy of opioids.

The defendants include Richard Sackler, the company’s former president and chairman.

Frosh says the strategies of the company and the Sacklers “were cold-blooded, misleading and extraordinarily effective.”

Forty-five states have now taken legal action in recent years against the pharmaceutical.

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