oxycontin

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Robert Stivers, the president of the Kentucky State Senate, said he’ll ask to intervene in a legal challenge against OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma in order to release documents that deal with a settlement the company made with the state in late 2015.

Stivers, a Republican from Manchester, suggested the case was improperly settled by former Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway, saying the $24 million windfall amounted to “pennies on the dollar” of what the state could have gotten.

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Lawyers for the Boston Globe have asked a Kentucky appeals court to release the secret testimony from a member of the family that controls one of the country's largest manufacturers of prescription painkillers.

The Kentucky Attorney General's office sued Purdue Pharma in 2007 for its deceptive marketing of OxyContin, an addictive prescription painkiller. The case was settled in 2015 for $24 million. But before it settled, former company president Richard Sackler gave an on-the-record deposition that is part of the court file. Sackler is a member of the family that controls the company.

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A Kentucky Judge says he will decide this week whether to unseal the secret testimony from a former president of the company that markets the addictive painkiller OxyContin. 

Health website Statnews.com  says Pike County Circuit Judge Steven Combs made the comment Friday. The website is seeking to unseal some 17 million pages of Kentucky's lawsuit against Purdue Pharma. Chief among them is a deposition by Richard Sackler, a former company president and a member of the family that controls the company.

Kentucky sued Purdue Pharma in 2007, accusing the company of lying about the addictiveness of the drug. They settled the case in December for $24 million.

Purdue Pharma attorney Trevor Wells says the documents should stay hidden because they were never used as the basis for a court decision.

Judge: Oxycontin Trial to Remain in Pikeville

Oct 1, 2013

A judge has ruled that a civil trial involving the maker of OxyContin should remain in Pikeville.

The lawsuit filed by Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma alleges that the company misled health care providers, consumers and government officials regarding the risk of addiction associated with OxyContin. Conway is seeking reimbursement of money spent on law enforcement, drug treatment programs and Medicaid prescriptions.

Purdue Pharma had requested that the trial be moved, saying an impartial jury couldn't be seated in Pike County. Prosecutors objected.

The Lexington Herald Leader reports Conway said in a statement that Circuit Judge Steven Combs issued an order denying the request.

Purdue Pharma spokesman James Heins said in a statement that the company disagrees and is "assessing our options."

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A judge is considering whether a civil trial involving the maker of OxyContin should be moved away from Pikeville.

The lawsuit filed by Kentucky Attorney General against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma alleges that the company misled health care providers, consumers and government officials regarding the risk of addiction associated with OxyContin. Conway is seeking reimbursement of money spent on law enforcement, drug treatment programs and Medicaid prescriptions.

The Appalachian News Express reports Circuit Judge Steve Combs heard arguments during a hearing in Pikeville last week over whether the trial should be moved.

Attorneys for Purdue Pharma said it would be impossible to seat an impartial jury there and asked that the proceedings be moved to central Kentucky.

The attorney general's office said the trial should remain in Pikeville.

An eastern Kentucky official has announced a settlement in a lawsuit over the drug OxyContin.

The Appalachian News-Express cited a statement from Pike Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford in reporting that drug maker Purdue Pharma agreed to pay $4 million to settle a lawsuit over abuse of the narcotic.

Rutherford said he couldn't give further details about the settlement due to terms of the agreement.

The county initially filed the lawsuit in 2007 and asked for damages the community suffered after the company marketed OxyContin as a safer alternative to other pain medicine.

The drug became so pervasive in eastern Kentucky, it was dubbed "hillbilly heroin."

Rutherford indicated in the statement that he was pleased with terms of the settlement.

"Finally, Pike County Government will have the funds to make a difference in drug addiction," Rutherford said. "We can now establish the Pike County Re-Entry Partnership for people convicted of drug violations. It has taken years to get done. Our attorney, Gary C. Johnson, was passionate and brought this about."

The goal of the Pike County Re-Entry Partnership would be to rehabilitate people who are addicted to drugs.