Addiction-group founder applauds Alaska's OxyContin lawsuit
Gov. Bill Walker's announcement Tuesday that the state is suing Purdue Pharmaceutical, the company that makes the opioid OxyContin, over deceptive marketing practices couldn't have come at a better time for Kim Whitaker.
Whitaker, the president and founder of Real About Addiction, knows the problem all too well. She says her own daughter was prescribed OxyContin years ago, and soon became addicted to the drug. She went on to say that her daughter's doctor just kept giving her more pills anytime she would ask for them. Her daughter is now also addicted to heroin.
Whitaker says she's glad to hear about the governor's announcement.
"Purdue needs to be held accountable, not just for the devastation they've caused," Whitaker said. "We can never -- we can't get back the loved ones that have been lost. We can't get back the years that I've lost without my daughter."
State leaders say 80 percent of those addicted to heroin in Alaska first started with prescription drugs such as OxyContin. The state is pursuing both financial compensation for damages as well as penalties outlined by the Alaska Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Purdue released a statement on Tuesday, saying that "We vigorously deny these allegations and look forward to the opportunity to present our defense."
Alaska joins 10 other states in suing Purdue.