McKenna on KIRO: Everett suing OxyContin maker over opioid crisis

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about the City of Everett’s new lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. In announcing the lawsuit, Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson said, “There is clear evidence that Purdue ignored their responsibility to stop the diversion of OxyContin into the black market, directly leading to the heroin crisis on our streets today.”

Dave Ross: “Here’s one of the more outrageous allegations: ‘To expand the market for OxyContin,’ the lawsuit says, ‘Purdue engaged in a campaign to exaggerate the benefits of, and need for, OxyContin, while minimizing the known risks of OxyContin, including addiction, abuse, and diversion.’

“So this could potentially put Purdue Pharma on the hook for the expenses to the city, which as I understand it are considerable, because you’re talking about having to wean people this drug, you’re talking about police time, rehab time. How high could this go?”

Rob McKenna: “Well, the tab for the city would run into millions and millions of dollars. The even greater risk to this company is that other communities that have been devastated by opioid addiction [will sue], and OxyContin has been one of the most popular opioids that’s abused, and that could run into billions of dollars and put them out of business, or at a minimum, put them out of the business of making this particular product.”

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