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AG Healey Takes On Purdue Pharma And Its Owners For Alleged Role In Opioid Epidemic16:00
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Morphine Sulfate, OxyContin and Opana are displayed for a photograph in Carmichael, California, on Jan. 18, 2013. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)
Morphine Sulfate, OxyContin and Opana are displayed for a photograph in Carmichael, California, on Jan. 18, 2013. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is taking on the Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma.

"I promise you that we will hold opioid makers accountable for the role they played in creating this crisis...we will do whatever it takes to hold this company accountable and get the justice our families so deserve," she said Wednesday during her inauguration — and she's making good on that promise.

In a complaint filed against the company that makes the opioid painkiller OxyContin, Healey alleges Purdue and its owners deceived Massachusetts doctors and patients in an effort to get more people to use its drugs — even though they knew the drugs are addictive and deadly.

The complaint is the first to name individuals of the Sackler family, and alleges that they and Purdue executives directed misleading sales and marketing practices that influenced doctors to prescribe more opioids to vulnerable patients.

Last year, Massachusetts was the first state to file a lawsuit against Purdue, its executives and owners over their role in the opioid epidemic.

Guests

Deborah Becker, WBUR senior correspondent. She tweets @wburdebbecker.

Nancy Gertner, WBUR Legal Analyst, former federal judge, and senior lecturer at Harvard Law School. She tweets .

This segment aired on January 17, 2019.

Related:

Nancy Gertner Cognoscenti contributor
Judge Nancy Gertner was appointed to the bench in 1994 by President Bill Clinton, and retired in September of 2011 to join the faculty of Harvard Law School. Her autobiography, "In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate," was published in 2011.

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Anthony Brooks Twitter Senior Political Reporter
Anthony Brooks is WBUR's senior political reporter.

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Deborah Becker Twitter Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.

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Paris Alston Twitter Producer, Radio Boston
Paris is an associate producer for Radio Boston.

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