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Health Highlights: Aug. 9, 2017

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

New Hampshire Sues Purdue Pharma Over OxyContin

The New Hampshire attorney general's office filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Purdue Pharma over what the state called the company's role in the opioid epidemic.

The lawsuit charges that New Jersey-based Purdue has continued its deceptive marketing of OxyContin in New Hampshire, which has been called the "ground zero" of the opioid epidemic, the Associated Press reported.

This is the latest in a number of lawsuits by state, county and local governments in the United States accusing prescription opioid makers of fraud and deceptive marketing.

The New Hampshire lawsuit alleges that Purdue minimized the risk of addiction posed by OxyContin, exaggerated its effectiveness, claimed the drug is virtually abuse-proof and did not report suspicious prescribers, the AP reported.

New Hampshire had nearly 500 overdose deaths in 2016, nearly 10 times higher than in 2000. For the past two years, the state's attorney general's office has been investigating half a dozen drug companies and their marketing practices.

"To defeat the epidemic, we must stop creating new users, and part of that is making sure these highly addictive and dangerous drugs are marketed truthfully and without deception, and in such a way as not to minimize addiction risks or overstate benefits to patients," said Deputy Attorney General Ann Rice, the AP reported.

Purdue denies the allegations in New Hampshire's lawsuit, but said it shares the state's concerns about the opioid crisis and is committed to finding solutions, according to company spokesman Robert Josephson, the AP reported.

In 2007, Purdue and three of its executives pleaded guilty to criminal charges for deceptive conduct. However, the New Hampshire lawsuit alleges that Purdue has not halted those practices.

In recent months, Missouri's attorney general sued Purdue and two other drug companies, Ohio's attorney general sued five companies in May, and three district attorneys and the guardians of a baby born dependent on drugs sued three companies in Tennessee, the AP reported.

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Glen Campbell Dies at Age 81

Country music legend Glen Campbell had died at age 81.

The singer and guitarist had suffered from Alzheimer's disease in recent years, NBC News reported.

"It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather," Campbell's family said in a statement posted on his website. No cause of death was given.

Campbell, the son of an Arkansas sharecropper, had a number of hits, including "Rhinestone Cowboy," "Gentle on My Mind," "Wichita Lineman," and "Galveston."

© 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: August 2017


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