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Judge rules that Oklahoma AG's suit against opioid companies can move forward

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announced a lawsuit June 30 against four pharmaceutical companies in a battle against the opioid crisis. (KOKH/Anthony West)

A Cleveland County judge has ruled to keep the Oklahoma Attorney General's suit against opioid manufacturers alive.

Big pharmaceutical companies, like Purdue Pharma and Cephalon, were asking Cleveland County Judge Thad Balkman to toss a lawsuit filed against them by Attorney General Mike Hunter. Hunter's suit claims that companies knowingly marketed their drugs as safe for chronic pain management while downplaying the risks of opioid dependency and overstating the effectiveness of the drugs.

After hours of presentation, Balkman dismissed most of the companies motions but agreed that the companies have not violated the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act.

A court date for the trial has yet to be set. Hunter's office hopes to take it to trial in 2019.


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