City says drugmaker knowingly let pills flood black market


EVERETT, Wash. (AP) A city in Washington state is suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the pain medication OxyContin, in an unusual case that alleges the drugmaker knowingly allowed pills to be funneled into the black market and into the city.

The city of Everett, north of Seattle, wants the drugmaker to pay for damages to the community. Officials said Everett has spent millions combating OxyContin and heroin abuse and expects the tab to rise.

The lawsuit, now in federal court in Seattle, contends Purdue Pharma enabled or failed to prevent the flood of pills into the black market in the city of about 108,000, despite a company program to track suspicious flows.

An official with Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma said the lawsuit paints a flawed picture of the events that led to the crisis in Everett and the company looks forward to presenting the facts in court.