Attorney General Brnovich Seeks to Add Sackler Family in State's Lawsuit Against Purdue Pharma

PIMA COUNTY - In addition to the U.S. Supreme Court filing against Purdue Pharma ("Purdue") and the Sackler family this morning, Attorney General Mark Brnovich also filed an action in Pima County Superior Court seeking to add the Sacklers to his office’s existing lawsuit against Purdue. The ongoing lawsuit filed in September 2018 alleges Purdue, controlled by the Sacklers, engaged in deceptive and misleading marketing to push opioids, in violation of a 2007 judgment against Purdue obtained by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for violating the state’s Consumer Fraud Act.

Arizona's 2007 judgment prohibits Purdue from making deceptive claims when marketing OxyContin. The judgment also requires Purdue to provide balanced information about OxyContin, including disclosing the risk of abuse, addiction, and physical dependence associated with using the drug.

Purdue and the Sacklers allegedly disregarded the judgment and continued to disseminate false, misleading, or unbalanced information through Purdue’s sales representatives, advertising materials, and websites. The State also alleges Purdue and the Sacklers violated the judgment by improperly marketing prescription opioids, including OxyContin, through seemingly-independent nonprofits that were paid millions of dollars by Purdue to promote prescription opioids. Purdue even touted opioids as safer for treating pain than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which include ibuprofen and aspirin.

Because the Attorney General’s action against Purdue and the Sacklers alleges violations of a previous court order under the Consumer Fraud Act, the Attorney General's Office can seek up to $25,000 per violation. The filing states that the Attorney General’s Office intends to seek the maximum penalty for every violation, given the seriousness of the issue and Purdue’s disregard for the 2007 judgment.

Section Chief Rebecca Eggleston and Senior Litigation Counsel Rebecca Salisbury are handling the State’s superior court litigation against Purdue and the Sacklers. The State is also represented by Consovoy McCarthy PLLC and Keller Lenkner LLC.

Copy of Attorney General Brnovich’s supplemental Purdue state court filing against the Sacklers.

Copy of the US Supreme Court filing against Purdue and the Sacklers.

Notable 2019 Office of the Arizona Attorney General Office Actions: