OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter is suing more than a dozen manufacturers of opioid pain medication, alleging that deceptive marketing campaigns by the drugmakers have fueled Oklahoma's opioid epidemic.
The lawsuit filed Friday in Cleveland County District Court alleges the manufacturers deceived and manipulated Oklahomans into believing opioids were safe for use over an extended period.
Hunter says thousands of people have died and the state and citizens have spent millions of dollars on unnecessary opioid prescriptions. Hunter says that by 2009 the number of opioid-related deaths in Oklahoma was higher than the number of people killed in auto crashes.
In April, the Cherokee Nation sued distributors and retailers of opioids, alleging they contributed to "an epidemic of prescription opioid abuse," Similar lawsuits have been filed in three other states.