Cruz reacts to announcement on legal action against Purdue Pharma in opioid crisis

HARRISBURG, May 15 – State Rep. Angel Cruz D-Phila., today applauded Attorney General Josh Shapiro for seeking legal action against Purdue Pharma for its role in the opioid crisis, an act mirroring legislation Cruz announced earlier this year.

Cruz anounced in early April his intent to introduce a resolution (H.R. 344) that would urge the attorney general to file a lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies, distributors and manufacturers that have contributed to the state's opioid addiction and overdose crisis, and pursue wrongful death suits on behalf of families. His legislation followed a letter that he and members of the Human Services Committee sent to the Attorney General urging action. He said applauds the attorney general for his efforts to address the epidemic.

Shapiro announced the lawsuit gainst Purdue Pharma, the creator of prescription painkiller OxyContin. The announcement occurred earlier this week in Philadelphia, one of the area’s most devastated by the opioid crisis, much of which Cruz has seen firsthand.

“I’m glad the attorney general is now pursuing legal action on behalf of the thousands of Pennsylvania families who have lost loved ones to this epidemic,” Cruz said. “With nearly 5,500 drug-related deaths in 2017 alone, holding those who contributed to and created the opioid crisis is not only responsible, but the best step forward. I further urge the Attorney General to continue to explore all legal avenues, including the potential for wrongful death suits if possible.” 

The lawsuit alleges that Purdue launched an illegal marketing campaign of deception targeting Pennsylvania doctors and patients to change attitudes, practices, and the culture surrounding pain management, especially regarding the safety of Oxycontin. Purdue Pharma recently settled its first lawsuit with Oklahoma on March 26.