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Kaul sues Purdue Pharma over opioid marketing practices

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul is suing Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma over its opioid marketing practices.

Kaul filed the lawsuit in state court Thursday. It alleges Purdue Pharma downplayed addiction risks of opioid pain medication Oxycontin and the company's former president, Richard Sackler, approved the strategy. The lawsuit alleges the practices amount to a public nuisance and seeks unspecified damages.

Officials in Iowa, Kansas, Maryland and West Virginia planned to file similar lawsuits Thursday. With the lawsuits, 45 states are taking action alleging the company downplayed Oxycontin risks.

Wisconsin and 25 other states won a $19.5 million settlement with Purdue Pharma in 2007 over Oxycontin marketing practices. But Kaul says the company's deceptive practices continue.

The company issued a statement denying the allegations, saying the states want to try the cases in the court of public opinion rather than in the justice system.

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